NH - Belmont man gets heavy sentence in hunting accident
Belmont man gets heavy sentence in hunting accident
A Belmont man who accidentally shot another turkey hunter and then
failed to render medical aid has begun serving a one-year jail sentence
in jail and was stripped of his right to hunt for life and ordered to
pay $30,000 to reimburse the victim for his medical costs.
The hunter was indicted on the Class B felony charge of abandoning a
wounded human being in August 2007.
Investigators said that he shot the victim with a 12-gauge shotgun in
the woods off Meredith Center Road in Laconia in May 2007. Pellets from
the blast struck the victim in the face, neck and chest. The hunter
pleaded guilty to failing to immediately report the incident to police
or conservation officers. He was initially also charged with shooting a
human being while hunting, a misdemeanor, and reckless conduct, a Class
The incident took place in Laconia on the opening day of the 2007
hunting season in the Huston-Morgan State Forest, located off Meredith
Center Road just east of Daisy Gardner Road.
The hunter mistook a decoy for a live turkey and shot the victim, a
15-year-old Inter-Lakes High School student who was hunting with his
At the time of the accident, New Hampshire Fish & Game authorities said
the brothers, both wearing camouflage, placed a turkey decoy on the
ground, took up a stationary position and began calling to lure turkeys
into shooting range.
The hunter was walking through the woods looking for turkeys — a
practice known as "stalking," that safety experts discourage — the
department said. The Belmont man is said to have fired in the direction
of the brothers and their decoy, hitting the teenager.
Judge Larry Smukler, sitting in Belknap County Superior Court, sentenced
the hunter on Monday to 12 months in the House of Corrections commencing
Tuesday. The court recommended to county correctional authorities that
he be eligible for immediate work release consistent with administrative
regulations. The defendant was additionally ordered to pay $30,000 in
restitution for medical costs plus 17 percent statutory administrative
fee through the New Hampshire Department of Corrections.
The defendant must also participate meaningfully and complete any
counseling, treatment or educational programs as recommended by
At the request of the defendant or the Department of Corrections, a
hearing may be scheduled on the amount or method of payment of
additional restitution. The defendant was additionally ordered to remain
on good behavior, comply with all terms of the sentence and to have no
contact with the victim or his family.
Public Defender Howard Clayman represented Keniston.
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