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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

DEERFIELD MAYOR IN COURT OVER HUNTING INCIDENT

Saturday, June 12, 2004

From staff reports

LAWRENCE TWP. -- Deerfield Township Mayor John Stanzione appeared in front of Lawrence Township municipal court Friday afternoon, regarding his actions in a December 2003 hunting accident.

During the hearing, only two witnesses for the state had a chance to testify, the victim of the accident, Frank Manno, and an official from the state Department of Fish and Game.

"Just a few people testified today," Stanzione said Friday afternoon. "It was all the state's side."

While out deer hunting early in the morning near Lebanon Road, Stanzione fired his muzzleloader at a deer and accidentally hit Manno's car, Fish and Game officer Doug Ely explained after the incident.

"Mr. Stanzione had a deer come across the field toward him, he fired and missed the deer," Ely said. "His projectile went from where he shot to the vehicle of Mr. Manno, who was traveling eastbound on Lebanon Road."

The bullet, Ely said, went through the windshield of Manno's car on the passenger side and moved diagonally to the driver's side and lodged in the headrest, no more than two inches from Manno's head.

"Maybe he should have used better judgment in a developed area, but he was very forthcoming with information and he was sorry for what happened," Ely said following the accident.

Ely said in December that Stanzione was expected to be charged with civil penalties and that he may lose his hunting privileges for two years, have to pay a fine and take safety courses.

The case is expected to resume next Friday when the state plans on finishing their case and the defense hopes to have a chance to present its side.

The exact duration of this hearing is not known at this time, Stanzione said.

"It will be up to the judge," he said. "I'll just be happy when it is concluded."

Copyright 2004 NJ.com. All Rights Reserved.


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