Police said the 60-year-old Upton left his lane on northbound Interstate 81 and struck the trooper, who was on the shoulder after stopping a car for speeding, with his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
Skinner was killed instantly, police said.
Upton drove a short distance further before pulling over and fleeing on foot.
Police used a K-9 unit to track him down a short time later in the woods, where officers found him naked about 1 p.m.
Upton told reporters after his arraignment in Chenango, New York, that he was not sure how he ended up in that part of the state.
“I was two miles away from the Connecticut border, and all of a sudden I’m in Binghamton, New York, being beamed to New York,” Upton said.
“The cop that got killed, I don’t know how it happened — there had to be a time warp,” he continued. “Honestly, I’m not bullsh-tting. I have proof in Connecticut. It’s a time warp or something had to happen.”
State police said they don’t believe Upton was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“I’m not sure what his mental state was at the time of the accident,” said State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. “He did make admissions that he saw the trooper and intentionally struck him.”
Upton’s next-door neighbor in Florida described him as dramatic, but otherwise a nice man.
He pleaded no contest in 2008 to driving under the influence in Florida and sentenced to 12 months probation.
The married father of one son remains held without bond in Broome County.
Skinner was a 13-year veteran of the state police and is survived by his mother, fiancée, and two children.
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