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Suspect Pleas Not Guilty in Trooper's Death

(Source: Fox 40 Staff)

The man accused of intentionally running down and killing New York State Trooper Christopher Skinner on Route 81 in May pleads not guilty to all counts Wednesday.

Almond Upton entered the plea in Broome County Court Monday morning. He faces 11 charges including first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree assault, and one count of criminal mischief.

Police say the 60-year-old intentionally struck Skinner with his truck while the state trooper was conducting a routine traffic stop on Interstate 81 on May 29th.

Also present for the arraignment were members of Skinner's family and fellow state troopers.

"We thought it was important for us to be present during his arraignment to support the family, to show that we're there for them as we will be throughout this whole process and, quite frankly, forever. Their loss is forever and our presence will be there for them forever," said Major Donald Faughnan, Commander for New York State Police Troop C. 

Faughnan says the day Skinner died was the toughest of his 32-year career. He says as hard as it was personally for the Troopers to be at the arraignment, they owe it to the Skinner family to be there to show support. 

The next court date for this case will be a pre-trial conference with Judge Joseph Cawley on August 29th. Upton remains in Broome County Jail Without Bail.

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