SOUTH GLENS FALLS -- The South Glens Falls man who was arrested last week after he was shot arranged the shooting by convincing a friend he would get a $50,000 insurance settlement if he was seriously injured, court records show.
But police have found no evidence of an insurance policy that would pay Richmond Principe, 19, if he was seriously hurt. Instead, investigators believe he set up the shooting to try to impress his girlfriend, who was with him when he told police he was robbed and shot.
South Glens Falls Police and State Police were continuing this week to investigate the June 22 shooting that left Principe, of Fort Edward, with a gunshot wound to the chest and he and friend Terrance R. Naylor, 20, of Moreau, in Saratoga County Jail on assorted charges.
Police have not released any details as to the apparent motive for one friend to put a .22-caliber slug in the chest of another in a field off Ferry Boulevard on that late June night.
But court records show that Naylor gave a detailed, six-page written statement to police indicating he was recruited by Principe to hurt him in a scheme to collect money through an insurance policy he said his father has. Naylor told police that Principe promised him $20,000 of the $50,000 settlement to shoot him.
“Rich came up with the idea of getting shot, even though I tried to give him easier options such as getting hit by a car,” Naylor is quoted as telling police. “I was trying to come up with an option that would involve Rich not getting killed and me not going to prison.”
The plot was for Naylor to disguise himself and pretend to rob Principe as he left his girlfriend’s home with his girlfriend, with Naylor firing a shot during the confrontation.
Naylor wrote that the plan concerned him because he was afraid Principe’s girlfriend would attack him despite the presence of the gun.
But he told police he went through with it, walking up to the couple, saying “money” and firing a shot into his friend’s upper chest, then fleeing along the nearby power line clearing and ditching his clothes and the gun. Police later recovered them.
Naylor showed up at the shooting scene a short time afterward, and said he was accused by police of being involved but denied it.
Principe was hospitalized but his injury was not life-threatening.
Principe apparently did not do a very good job trying to cover his tracks.
He first tried to purchase a gun at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Wilton, but was turned away because of the waiting period and required background check.
He then posted messages on Facebook asking acquaintances if they had a gun for sale.
The gun that was used was stolen from the Moreau home of a relative of Principe’s the day before the shooting, according to court records.
Naylor has been charged with first-degree assault, a felony, while Principe was charged with first-degree offering a false written statement, a felony, and the misdemeanor of falsely reporting an incident.
Both men have also been charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, in connection with the gun theft.
Neither South Glens Falls Police Chief Kevin Judd nor State Police Senior Investigator John Brooks would discuss the case this week, both saying it was still under investigation.
Naylor is due back in court on Aug. 16, while Principe is to return on Aug. 23.