Father of four-year-old N.J. boy who accidentally shot friend is indicted

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 26, 2013 1:33 PM

By David Jones

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - The father of a 4-year-old boy in New Jersey, who accidentally shot and killed his 6-year-old friend while playing with a gun, has been indicted on charges of child endangerment, prosecutors said.

The decision by a grand jury came four months after Anthony Senatore, 33, was charged when authorities searched his home and found multiple unsecured weapons, including two 12-gauge shotguns, prosecutors said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Officials say Senatore's son gained access to a .22-caliber rifle in his parents' bedroom and accidentally shot his friend, Brandon Holt, in the head on April 8. Holt was pronounced dead at a hospital the next day.

Senatore, who was arrested in May after a month-long investigation, posted $100,000 bail and was indicted on Wednesday. His attorney, Robert Ebberup, was not immediately available for comment.

"We're very pleased it's moving forward," said Kevin Parsons, an attorney for the Holt family.

Senatore is charged with five counts of second-degree child endangerment in connection with five unsecured guns found in his home in Toms River, New Jersey, prosecutors said.

He faces a further charge, of third-degree child endangerment, for keeping a loaded .22 caliber rifle in a place where it was accessible by his son.

Senatore was also charged with a disorderly persons offense for allowing minors to access firearms. The five unsecured weapons were accessible to his other children as well, aged 8 and 12, prosecutors said.

Weeks after Senatore's arrest, the parents of Holt filed a lawsuit against him and his wife.

(Editing by Kevin Gray and Bernadette Baum)