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PA: Hunting death a terrible accident

DA: Hunting death a terrible accident

12/22/2010

The man who said he accidentally shot and killed his best friend while hunting went before a judge Wednesday.

It was an emotional day in the courtroom as the man who is charged with killing his best friend listened to testimony from that tragic day.

Kenneth Mutzabaugh, 51, of Duncannon was in court for his preliminary hearing. He said he accidentally mistook his best friend, 53-year-old Hugh McChord, of Linglestown, for a turkey while they were out hunting in November. Mutzabaugh is facing two charges, including killing or injuring a human while hunting and a firearms crime.

On Wednesday, both the district attorney and the defense acknowledged that this was a terrible accident.

"There's no evidence to suggest that he did this with any kind of coldness of heart or anything like that. It was a very unfortunate situation. It's a reckless situation, certainly not intentional or we would have charged other crimes if we thought he intended to kill," said Charles Chenot, the Perry County district attorney.

"He's been devastated. It's ruined his holiday season. It's potentially and probably ruined his life," said Keith Kendall, Mutzabaugh's attorney.

If Mutzabaugh is found guilty, he could spend some time behind bars. The district attorney did not want to discuss how much time they would be seeking.

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