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Dad of Toms River Boy Who Fatally Shot Friend is Indicted

The father of a young Toms River boy who fatally shot his 6-year-old playmate earlier this year was indicted Wednesday on six counts of child endangerment.

Brandon Holt
Brandon Holt was shot and killed by a younger neighbor in April 2013. (Facebook)

An Ocean County grand jury returned the indictment against Anthony Senatore, 33, of Toms River on Wednesday.

Authorities say Senatore had multiple unsecured weapons in his home. They say his 4-year-old son got a .22 caliber rifle and fired a single shot that struck his 6-year-old neighbor, Brandon Holt, in the head, on April 8. Holt died the next day.

Senatore was arrested several weeks after the shooting, following a lengthy investigation, and was later freed on $100,000 bail. His lawyer, Robert Ebberup, did not return a call seeking comment late Wednesday afternoon.

Although the shooting occurred in Ocean County, Atlantic County is handling the matter because Senatore has relatives who have worked in law enforcement in Ocean County.

Senatore faces five counts of second-degree child endangerment — one for each of the five unsecured firearms investigators say they found accessible to his own children, ages 12, 8 and 4. He also was charged with a third-degree count of child endangerment for endangering Holt, for keeping the loaded .22 caliber rifle unsecured in a bedroom where his 4-year-old son was able to access and fire the weapon.

Senatore also faces a disorderly person offense for enabling access by minors to a loaded weapon.

Authorities say that besides the rifle used to fire the fatal shot, two 12-gauge shotguns and two other shotguns were all found unsecured, in close proximity to ammunition and accessible to Senatore’s children.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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