A Hudson Valley man faces life in prison following the murder of a local man who was protecting his son.

On Friday an Ulster County trial jury found 39-year-old Maurice Stansberry Sr. of Kingston guilty of murdering Mark Lancaster. Lancaster, 39, of Kingston, was gunned down on Sawkill Road in the Town of Ulster on Dec. 1, 2018.

Minutes before the murder, Stansberry, his son Maurice Stansberry Jr., and a third person, Kevin Gardener, went to the Sawkill Trailer Park for a marijuana deal which had been set up by Gardener. Stansberry Sr. was armed with a loaded nine-millimeter pistol.

When he was shown the pot he pointed the loaded gun at the pot dealer, Lancaster's son, and demanded the pot. He and Gardener then ran back to their waiting getaway car driven by Stansberry Jr. and fled.

When Lancaster learned that his son was robbed he chased the Stansberry car about a mile and a half on Sawkill Road heading towards Washington Avenue and pulled in front of the vehicle causing it to stop.

According to the Ulster County District Attorney's Office, after Lancaster got out of his car, despite being unarmed, he said he was going to shoot one of the three men in the car. Lancaster then opened the driver’s door of the Stansberry car and demanded that they give back his property. Stansberry Sr. then shot Lancaster in the lower abdomen.

The bullet passed through him severing major blood vessels, causing severe internal bleeding and hemorrhage resulting in Lancaster’s death.

Maurice Stansberry Sr., Maurice Stansberry Jr., and Gardener were indicted by an Ulster County Grand Jury for felony murder, robbery and weapons charges. Gardener pleaded guilty to felony murder and removed himself from the trial of the case. Stansberry Jr. cooperated with the DA’s Office in exchange for a negotiated plea and sentence recommendation.

Stansberry Sr. faces 25 years to life when sentenced. Officials say he has multiple convictions dating back over 20 years and is believed to be a member of the Bloods Street Gang.

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