Police: Man Charged After Girl, 2, Shot While She Slept In Newport Home

A Newport man is facing charges after he was accused of firing a shotgun into his ceiling and injuring a 2-year-old girl in an upstairs apartment.

Timothy Hale, 51, was charged with felony reckless conduct with a deadly weapon. Police said the girl, Lennox Martioski, was shot in the leg Sunday night while she was sleeping in an upstairs apartment at 147 Laurel St.

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"(Lennox) was in her own bedroom asleep," Assistant Sullivan County Attorney Justin Hersh said. "(Lennox's mother) was in bed with her boyfriend in a different room and heard a loud noise and went into her daughter's bedroom to check and found the blanket was covered in blood."

Lennox was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where she underwent surgery and was doing well, her family said.

"She could've been a foot to the left – it could've been her heart or her head,” John Martioski, Lennox’s father, said.

Martioski recalled the frightening moments after the shot was fired.

"My girlfriend runs over to the baby and there's debris everywhere, and she said, ‘Something exploded around the baby,’” he said. “Didn't know what it was. We're looking, she picks up the blanket and starts screaming, ‘Oh my God, her knee is gone.’”

Hale is accused of firing a single blast from his 12-gauge shotgun, which was loaded with birdshot, police said. According to an affidavit, he told police he believed someone was in his apartment, so he loaded the gun and fired.

"The whole top of her knee was blown clear off," Martioski said.

>> View raw video from the scene

If it wasn't for his girlfriend's quick thinking, Martioski said, the situation could've been a lot worse.

"She picked the baby up, ran into the bedroom, applied a tourniquet as I was on 911,” he said.

Police said they found no evidence of anyone else in the apartment, and no neighbors reported hearing any disturbance before the shot was fired.

Neighbor Katherine Glidden lives in the next door apartment and said she is friends with Hale and the girl's family.

"I'm nervous. I'm scared," Glidden said. "I despise guns. He knows it. I think it was stupid, but I don't believe it was intentional. He would never ever hurt a child."

Prosecutors said Hale showed signs that he had been drinking and claimed some person had gotten into his apartment.

"After their daughter was shot, Mr. Hale had come upstairs to their residence, knocked on the door to tell them he was sorry, that the gun went off and it was an accident," Hersh said.

"We believe it was an accident," defense attorney Jay Buckey said. "A very unfortunate accident, but an accident, not a crime."

Martioski said his family knows Hale well and they have a good relationship, but said he acted carelessly.

“He had just brought my daughter cookies earlier that day,” he said. “And that's what made it so tough on us."

As for Lennox, she has a long road to recovery ahead of her, her father said.

"She's going to get a cast,” Martioski said. “Then, we're looking at six more weeks with the cast. Then, after that, she's going to have to through therapy and relearn how to walk again."

Hale will be released on bail with several conditions, including that he not return to his apartment.

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