A Hudson Valley man is behind bars after admitting to murder motivated by jealousy.

Walter Post Jr. was enraged that his ex-girlfriend was dating a new man. According to prosecutors, he spent an entire evening earlier this year driving around his ex-lover's home in search of information about the man she was now dating. That's when authorities say Post discovered that Michael Hankin was now dating his ex. The two men had been friends, so Post quickly recognized him.

According to court records, Post slashed Harkin's tires and then waited for him to approach the car. When the victim realized someone had vandalized his vehicle, he stopped to inspect the tires. That's when Post took aim, fatally shooting him with a shotgun.

Ulster County DA
Walter Post Jr. - Photo Courtesy of Ulster County DA

The killing occurred on Vinegar Hill Road in Pine Bush on January 11. Six months later, only a few days before pretrial hearings were to begin, Post plead guilty to the murder.


On Friday a courtroom packed with family and supporters of the victim attended the sentencing, with some reading impact statements for the court. Hankin's mother made an emotional statement, telling the court that “nothing will ever fill the void left behind. Nothing can ever replace what was taken from us.” She went on to mourn her son saying that she'll never get to hear him say "I love you, ma" ever again. The victim's mother said that she would never wish another mother to have a child taken away in such a "vile and horrific" way.

Michael Hankins - Courtesy of Harris Funeral Home
Michael Hankins - Courtesy of Harris Funeral Home

Post's family requested that the judge show mercy on Post, putting him in a nearby prison so they wouldn't be too far away to visit. The DA's office characterized the request as insensitive.

The victim’s family would rather get on a plane to Timbuktu and travel thousands of miles to see and speak to the deceased again, than visit his gravestone and not be able to talk to him.

Post declined an opportunity to make a statement as was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison. The decision of which prison Post will serve his time is not made by the court, despite the family's request for the judge to do so.

Although he didn't speak in court, Post put a statement on record through his lawyer saying that he accepted responsibility for his conduct. The judge says he will ask the parole board to carefully consider whether this is actually still the case when Post is eventually eligible for parole.

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