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Elderly Newport man charged with firing gun at caregiver

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 7/2/2019 6:57:49 PM
Modified: 7/2/2019 6:58:03 PM

NEWPORT — An 80-year old Newport man is being held without bail after being arraigned on two felonies for allegedly shooting a gun at his caregiver at his Springfield Road home on Monday.

Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said Tuesday afternoon that Kenneth Rickard pleaded not guilty to reckless conduct with a deadly weapon and criminal threatening with a deadly weapon earlier in the day at his arraignment in Sullivan Superior Court. Both charges are Class B felonies and carry penalties of 3 ½ to seven years in prison.

According to Newport Police, emergency communications received a 911 call around 11:30 Monday morning with a report of a domestic violence incident at 105 Springfield Road.

“It was reported that a man had fired rounds from a handgun at a woman who then fled the residence while being fired upon,” police said in a news release. The woman was not injured.

Police and ambulance arrived and after securing the scene learned that the incident was between an elderly male, later identified as Rickard, and a residential caregiver, the release said. Police said Rickard fired multiple rounds from a handgun at the caregiver, who was not identified by police.

“The victim was able to run from the scene unharmed and was able to flag down a passerby for assistance,” police said.

Rickard was taken into custody without incident and the firearm that he is alleged to have used also was recovered, police said.

Rickard was represented in court by attorney Gary Apfel. Attempts to reach Apfel were unsuccessful.

Hathaway said Rickard has the right to request a bail hearing.

The Newport Police Department is asking anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident and may have seen or heard something to call Lt. Charles Rataj at 603-862-3240.

Monday’s shooting marked the second incident this year where an elderly man was accused of firing a weapon at another individual in Newport.

On May 7, 77-year-old George “Graham” Clarke, who is suffering from dementia, allegedly shot and killed his 75-year-old wife, Margaret “Peggy” Clarke, inside the home they shared for decades, police said at the time.

Because of his mental state, authorities said Clarke was unlikely to face criminal charges.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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