PA: Man accused of shooting a woman while hunting
Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009
Hunter faces trial in shooting
Officers: Man didn't identify, help victim
BELLEFONTE - A man who is accused of mistakenly shooting a Boalsburg
woman while hunting for turkey on May 13 will face trial on charges he
failed to identify his target or help the woman after the shooting.
Donald D. Lansberry on Wednesday waived his right to have a preliminary
hearing to determine if the state Game Commission has enough evidence to
According to the Game Commission, Lansberry, 53, still holds a valid
hunting license, and so is permitted to hunt.
"Unless and until he is convicted, he is considered innocent," said
spokesman Jerry Feaser. "Upon conviction, a judge has the discretion as to
how many years to set revocation."
Lansberry is accused of firing a single shot at Elizabeth Stricker, 55,
who was hit in her left eye and the left side of her face with several
pellets while walking her dog around 6:45 a.m.
It happened on wooded land, owned by Biddle Farm, that borders the Tussey
Mountain Ski Area in Harris Township.
Wildlife conservation officer Christopher J. Deal charged Lansberry in
June with two misdemeanors, saying he violated a basic rule of hunting by
not identifying his target, and didn't immediately render aid after the
Lansberry told police he saw something blue moving through the brush
"like a turkey would," and fired his shot. Lansberry said he heard
screaming, but "didn't know" why he didn't go to help, Deal wrote in court
Lansberry then left the scene and went to a nearby farm, court papers say.
His attorney, Robert Bascom, declined to comment, and Lansberry wasn't
present in court Wednesday.
The Game Commission doesn't keep statistics on how many prosecutions
follow hunting accidents each year.
"In most cases, officers use discretion and consult with the district
attorney when filing charges involving hunting-related shooting incidents,"
Last year, accidental shootings during turkey hunting seasons were topped
only by those during deer season, the commission reported.
There were 10 total turkey hunting accidents in the fall turkey and
spring gobbler seasons. None were fatal.
Of the 35 total reported hunting accidents during that year, 60 percent
involved a person injured by someone else's weapon, and eight involved
victims who were mistaken for game. In 32 of the 35 incidents, the victim
was also hunting.
If Lansberry is convicted, a judge could immediately revoke his hunting
license. But, the judge could also choose not to impose any immediate
license restrictions, meaning Lansberry would keep a valid license until it
comes up for renewal by the Game Commission the next July.
Strickler couldn't be reached for comment or for an update on her
Return to Hunting Accident Index
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe
that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes
a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section
107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted
material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must
obtain permission from the copyright owner.