McKinstry faces charges

Kingston resident Garrett James McKinstry is facing first-degree murder charges in the alleged homicide of his father, Jeffrey McKinstry.

The stabbing death took place at the family’s Kingston home on Oct. 11, 2007. The first-degree count indicates the alleged homicide was premeditated.

“We are confident that we can justify first-degree murder charges,” County Prosecutor Russ Hauge said.

Jeffrey McKinstry was a counselor at Ordway Elementary School on Bainbridge Island.

Hauge did not supply details about the case, saying only the charges had a basis in “biological evidence that supports premeditation and intent.”

Both Hauge and defense attorney David LaCross expect the case will not come to trial for some time.

This is partially attributable to the selection of a judge. Hauge filed an affidavit on Thursday stating his belief that McKinstry would not receive a fair and impartial trial from Superior Court Judge Russell Hartman. LaCross, in turn, filed his own affidavit challenging the impartiality of Hartman’s designated replacement, Superior Court Judge Leila Mills.

Neither attorney supplied specific reasons for the challenge. Mills was scheduled to preside over a hearing Friday to determine the disposition of the case.

LaCross, who entered a not guilty plea on McKinstry’s behalf to the previous second degree murder charges, said the plea would be unchanged under the new charges.

The mandatory penalty for this charge is life imprisonment without parole. Hauge will not seek the death penalty.

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