An 18-year-old accomplice to a robbery that turned deadly in 2018 has been sentenced to five years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.

Maurice Stansberry, Jr., pleaded guilty in Ulster County Court on June 27 to second-degree robbery after admitting he and his codefendants planned the crime to steal marijuana while in possession of a loaded handgun.

Addressing the court during the sentencing, Stansberry, Jr. blamed himself for his actions, citing “choices I made… to fit in … with my dad” is what lead to his involvement in the crime, the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office said. Stansberry, Jr. also instructed his attorney, Kevin Harp, to not seek a more lenient sentence.

The crime took place on Dec. 1, 2018 when Stansberry, Jr., his father, Maurice Stansberry, Sr., and Kevin Gardener went to the Sawkill Trailer Park for a marijuana deal. Stansberry, Sr. brought a loaded nine-millimeter handgun with him.

When the deal began and Stansberry, Sr. was shown the marijuana, he pointed his gun at the dealer and demanded the drugs. At that point, he and Gardener fled to the waiting getaway car, driven by Stansberry, Jr.

The dealer’s father, 39-year-old Mark Lancaster of Kingston, learned that his son had been robbed and chased the getaway car for about a mile and-a-half on Sawkill Road toward Washington Avenue, then pulled in front of the Stansberry vehicle forcing it to stop.

At this point, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, Lancaster got out of his car and said he was going to shoot one of the three men in the getaway car, although he was unarmed. Lancaster opened the driver’s door of the Stansberry vehicle and demanded they give back the marijuana – that’s when Stansberry, Sr. fatally shot Lancaster in the lower abdomen.

Maurice Stansberry, Sr. has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder. Gardener, 18, was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison.

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