Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo reported that charges have been filed against a Stratford Police Officer.

Kenneth Righter, 46, was charged today with three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a second degree crime, for leaving a loaded firearm unsecured and accessible to his three minor children in his home. He was also charged with Storage of Firearms if Minors May Have Access, a disorderly persons offense.  The children involved were ages 8, 14 and 17.

On December 31, 2016, Camden County Central Communications received a 9-1-1 call in reference to an unresponsive 8-year-old child at Righter’s residence. Before law enforcement or emergency personnel responded, the child was taken to JFK Hospital in Stratford by the child’s mother where the child died from a gunshot wound.

An investigation conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office revealed that Righter kept his personal .357 revolver, loaded and unsecured, on a shelf, which was within the reach of the minor children.

As a result of these charges, Righter will be suspended from the Stratford Police Department without pay.

This matter continues as an ongoing investigation.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Released Friday, January 20, 2017.