Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Toms River Man Sentenced to 3-years in Prison for Endangering the Welfare of his Children

TOMS RIVER, OCEAN COUNTY – A Toms River man was sentenced this morning for endangering the welfare of children, in connection with the 2013 fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy by the defendant’s 4-year-old son, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced today.
Anthony R. Senatore, 35, of McCormick Drive, Toms River, NJ, was sentenced this morning by Ocean County Superior Court Judge Wendell Daniels to 3 years of incarceration in New Jersey State prison for Endangering the Welfare of his own children, and of the 6-year-old neighbor, Brandon Holt.
On April 8, 2013, Senatore’s 4-year-old son gained access to an unsecured loaded .22 caliber rifle in Senatore’s bedroom and fired a single shot that struck 6-year-old neighbor, Brandon Holt, in the head. Holt was transported to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead the next day.

Following Holt’s death, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General – Division of Criminal Justice directed the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office to supersede the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and take over the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Concluding a month-long investigation by this Office, Senatore was arrested on May 13, 2013, charged with 6 counts of Endangering the Welfare of Children:
  • 1) one count each for the five unsecured firearms found accessible to his own children, for whom he has a legal duty of care—a 2nd degree offense, and
  • 2) one count of Endangering the Welfare of Brandon Holt, for keeping a loaded .22 caliber rifle unsecured in a bedroom where his 4-year-old son was able to access and fire the weapon—a 3rd degree offense. 
The charges allege that, in addition to the loaded .22 caliber rifle used to fire the fatal shot, a Stevens 12-gauge shotgun, two Harrington & Richardson shotguns and a Remington 12-gauge shotgun were all found unsecured, in close proximity to ammunition and accessible to Senatore’s own children, ages 12, 8 and 4.
Senatore was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash or bond bail set by Atlantic County Superior Judge Kyran Connor. Senatore later posted bail and was released.
On September 25, 2013, an Ocean County Grand Jury indicted Senatore on all six counts.
On October 30, 2014, Senatore pled guilty in Ocean County Superior Court to one count of 2nd degree Endangering the Welfare of Children for causing harm to the children for whom he has the legal duty of care, and to the 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of Children charge for the harm done to Brandon Holt.
Today, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, Judge Daniels sentenced Senatore on each count to a term of incarceration in New Jersey State prison of 3 years, the sentences to run concurrently. Upon motion by the State, Judge Daniels ordered Senatore to transfer ownership of his weapons to a family member and surrender his firearms purchaser ID card.
At the conclusion of sentencing, Senatore’s bail was revoked by Judge Daniels, and he was placed in custody and lodged in Ocean County Jail for later transfer to state prison.
First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office represents the State in the matter.


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