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Charges filed in McKinstry slaying

A memorial for Jeff McKinstry at the Ordway School sign. -
A memorial for Jeff McKinstry at the Ordway School sign.
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The counselor’s son was expected to enter a plea of not guilty Tuesday.

Kitsap County pros­ecutors charged Gar­rett L. Mc­Kin­stry with second de­gree mur­der Friday, for the stab­bing death of his father and Ord­way Elemen­tary School counselor Jeffrey McKinstry at his home last week.

Garrett McKinstry’s arraignment was scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, but his attorney, David LaCross of Port Orchard, said his client would be sent to Western State Hospital for a determination of his mental competency before he enters a plea to the court.

Garrett McKinstry, 21, had no prior felony convictions in Kitsap County but did have a reckless driving conviction on his record from earlier this year, prosecutors said.

Hull would not comment on what motivated the stabbing, which prosecutors say Garrett McKinstry admitted to investigators at the scene.

“We do know this individual stabbed his father on numerous occasions,” Hull said. “In terms of the circumstances surrounding this case, it’s still under investigation and I can’t speak to that at this point.”

Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department said that officers had recently tried to contact Garrett McKinstry about his involvement in a reported shoving match at a pub, but the young man was never reached for questioning and the case was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office. Hull said no charges had been filed in that case.

Sheriff’s deputies found Jeffrey McKinstry, 53, dead in the driveway of his Kingston home on the evening of Oct. 11, after responding to a 911 call reporting a domestic dispute.

Garrett McKinstry was arrested at the scene. He allegedly told prosecutors that his father had told him to move out of the house after getting home from work that day, and that he had stabbed his father about 20 times with a kitchen knife, then tried to light the body on fire with gasoline in the driveway.

News of Jeff McKinstry’s death spread quickly on Bainbridge after his identity was released Friday morning.

By Friday evening a pile of flowers and cards had appeared at the base of the Ordway Elementary School sign on Madison Avenue as an impromptu memorial.

“That’s how kids knew him, just like that,” one mourner told his daughter Friday, gesturing to a black and white photo of McKinstry grinning broadly. “He was there at the doorway every morning to greet them.”

The Ordway Parent Teacher Organization will host a twilight vigil for McKinstry in the Ordway yard at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17.

A memorial service for McKinstry is planned for 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at Woodward Middle School.

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