You are looking at a good man. A family man. A man who was killed by an evil man.
Thursday around noon, New York State Trooper Christopher Skinner was doing his job. He was on route 81 in Chenango, near Binghamton. He had pulled over a vehicle while doing that job, which is to serve and protect us.
While Trooper Skinner was out of his marked State Police unit, a driver swerved from the passing lane on 81 and hit him, instantly taking the life of a 42-year-old father of two.
Cops know that they face danger every time they go to work. Ask any of them and they will say "it's part of the job". What they don't know is if they will ever return home. Unfortunately, Trooper Skinner's kids and fiancé now know this all too well.
The saddest part of this story is it did not have to happen. The driver who hit this young cop sped off and was eventually found hiding in the woods. The shocking part is that he is alleged to have told investigators that he intentionally hit the trooper.
Who could be so evil as to want to want to kill a cop who he probably had never met? 60-year-old Almond Upton of Melrose Fla., who is now charged with first degree murder. This bastard has 2 DWI convictions already, although State Police say that alcohol probably was not a factor in this horrible murder.
One man helping others on a busy highway, getting ready to get married and raise his kids. Another man who somehow ends up on a highway out of his own state and aims his speeding vehicle at another person and wrecks the world for a family. This family not only includes the kids and woman ready to marry the cop, but thousands of other law enforcers around the state and country.
Who can explain such evil? Not me. Not you. Mr. Upton will face the system and hopefully somehow this will be answered, although no answer will ever ease the grief this large family is not subjected to.
The NY State Police now prepares to bury their own again. My heart hurts for Trooper Skinner's family. He once served here locally in Troop E based in Farmington. Many of these men and women are now at work facing danger today. I hope they get home safely tonight and avoid the evil that Trooper Skinner faced yesterday.
God bless the memory of Trooper Christopher Skinner. R.I.P. And God bless all members of his large extended family.