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Driving in 'time warp,' says Putnam County man charged with killing N.Y. state trooper

Posted: May 30, 2014 - 7:08am  |  Updated: May 31, 2014 - 9:51am
Trooper Christopher G. Skinner  Image provided by: New York State Police
Image provided by: New York State Police
Trooper Christopher G. Skinner

A Putnam County man who claimed he was driving in a “time warp” was charged with murder after police said he intentionally plowed his pickup truck into a New York state trooper Thursday before being caught nude in a wooded area.

Almond Upton, 60, of Hall Road in Melrose is in the Broome County, N.Y., jail without bail after being charged in the death of Trooper Christopher G. Skinner, 42, a father of two, according to the New York State Police website.

Upton told police he was traveling from his home to visit his mother in Connecticut when the incident occurred on Interstate 81 in Broome County, which is in south-central New York south of Syracuse.

The police website said Upton was driving his Toyota Tacoma on I-81 just after noon when he hit two cars driving north. One driver suffered minor injuries.

After traveling another mile, Upton struck Skinner while the trooper was on a traffic stop and sideswiped the car Skinner had stopped, the website said. Skinner was killed instantly.

Related: Almond Upton's 2008 DUI arrest report

Upton’s vehicle continued on a short distance before stopping. He ran into nearby woods and was caught about an hour later.

Police did not say what led to the incident, but they found no evidence that Upton was impaired. Upton told investigators he intended to hit the officer, authorities said at a news conference.

While being led in handcuffs out of court, Upton told reporters, “I was two miles from the Connecticut border and all of a sudden I’m in Binghamton, New York, and this cop got killed. I don’t know how it happened, but it had to be a time warp, honestly.”

Upton’s criminal record includes an October 2008 DUI arrest in Clay County in which his blood alcohol level was .20 - more than twice the legal limit to drive in Florida - when a deputy stopped him after he stumbled into a store on Florida 100. Upton told the deputy that he also had a DUI in Connecticut, according to records obtained by the Times-Union.

In the Clay case, Upton was fined $1,000 and sentenced to 12 months probation after pleading no contest, records show.

Skinner was a 13-year veteran of the New York State Police. He is survived by his mother, Sharyn, brother, Shawn, fiancee, Surrena, and two children, 15-year-old Kyle and 12-year-old Erin.

“Trooper Skinner selflessly dedicated 13 years of his life to the New York State Police, and his actions have impacted the lives of many,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “His commitment to the people of this state is commendable and will no doubt be remembered for years to come. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my condolences to his friends and family and express my deepest gratitude for Trooper Skinner’s service.”

More: Read about Trooper Christopher G. Skinner

Read more:

Jim Schoettler: (904) 359-4385

Comments (4)

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Jim Schoettler
Jim Schoettler 05/30/14 - 01:49 pm
Premium Member

@Grumpier and jnfsu Got 'em

@Grumpier and jnfsu

Got 'em both. Thanks very much for reading.


jnfsu 05/30/14 - 11:07 am
Premium Member

So, Trooper Skinner had a

So, Trooper Skinner had a wife AND a fiancée?

What a senseless tragedy. :(

GrumpierOldMan 05/30/14 - 10:52 am
Premium Member

Today's English

Today's English Lesson:

"includes a October 2008 DUI . . ."
should be
includes an October 2008 DUI

Rat Patrol
Rat Patrol 05/30/14 - 08:20 am



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