In a courtroom packed with large contingents of supporters for the victim and the defendant, a Hudson Valley man was sentenced to prison for gunning down and killing his ex-friend's new boyfriend.
Orange County resident Walter Post, Jr., age 26, of Pine Bush was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for his jealous killing of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, Michael Hankins, age 29, in Ulster County, on Vinegar Hill Road in Shawangunk in the early morning of Tuesday, Jan. 11, said the Ulster County District Attorney's Office.
Visiting Ulster County Court Judge James Farrell also granted the District Attorney’s request for an order of protection for the Hankins family for the rest of the defendant’s life, and an order by the court for Post to make restitution in the amount of $8,200 to the victim’s family and the Crime Victims Board, which paid for a portion of the funeral expenses, the DA's Office said.
Post pleaded guilty to the crime in July.
According to court documents, during the night of Monday, Jan. 10 into the early morning of the 11th, Post was driving around his ex-girlfriend’s home hoping to find out the identity of her new boyfriend.
He saw and recognized the vehicle of the victim, Hankin, and made the connection he was seeking. He slashed the car’s tires and shot Hankin to death with a shotgun on Vinegar Hill Road after he left and stopped to check his tires. Post and the victim had been friends before Post’s girlfriend left him for the victim, the DA's Office said.
A joint family impact statement from the victim’s family said “nothing will ever fill the void left behind. Nothing can ever replace what was taken from us.”
In response to requests by Post’s family that the judge place Post in a nearby prison, the DA’s Office observed the insensitivity of that request by pointing out that the victim’s family would rather get on a plane to Timbuktu and travel thousands of miles to see and speak to the deceased again than visit his gravestone and not be able to talk to him, the DA's Office added.
Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg praised the work of the State Police saying that their effort made it possible to bring this case to a relatively quick resolution that permitted the victim’s family to cherish their loved one and his memory without dragged-out litigation.
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