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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

TEEN SENTENCED IN HUNTING MISHAP

New Bern Sun Journal   
April 06, 2004
Francine Sawyer
Sun Journal Staff

Davis has hunting privileges suspended for three years

A 17-year-old Craven County boy had his hunting privileges suspended for three years as part of his punishment for a hunting mishap on Oct. 21 in Clarks near the railroad tracks.

Matthew Rawls Davis was charged with firing a firearm without due caution and in a manner that endangers a person, one count of failing to wear hunter-orange clothing; one count of engaging in an activity not covered under that license; and one count of making an application of a license for which he was not entitled.

The mishap left Guy Pepper, 29, an Oaks Road Elementary School teacher with eight pellets of No. 1 buckshot in his groin and thigh.

Davis' attorney, Jeffrey Miller of Greenville, pled no contest to making an application for a license that Davis was not entitled and negligent hunting.

The two other charges were consolidated for judgment.

Thinking it was a pack of wild dogs, Davis fired a 12-gauge shotgun in Pepper's direction. Pepper was hunting with his brother-in-law, Matt Adams.

Miller told District Court Judge Paul Quinn that his client did not know he was required to have a hunter's safety course to get his license to hunt in North Carolina.

"After Mr. Pepper was shot, Mr. Davis ran over to him. He and Mr. Adams put Mr. Pepper in his car and ran through a sustainable gate to get Mr. Pepper help," Miller said.

Pepper told the judge that Davis "came to my aid quickly."

Pepper was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital after first responders stabilized him after the shooting.

"I only saw the flash of the gun," Pepper told Quinn.

Pepper, who teaches physical education, was out of work for several days.

Miller told the court that the Davis family has cooperated with Pepper and that Davis' family was paying all hospital bills and other expenses.

Quinn handed Davis a 45-day suspended jail sentence, court costs and unsupervised probation for three years.

"Mr. Pepper was very lucky. This could have had a much more serious outcome," Quinn said.

Francine Sawyer can be reached at francine_sawyer@link.freedom.com .

2004 by Freedom ENC Communications. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced without written permission from FENC Communications. For questions or comments about this site please email webmaster@enctoday.com .


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