Posted on Wed, Mar. 02, 2005
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A hunter who accidentally shot a pregnant woman pleaded
guilty Wednesday to violating hunting laws, but declined to apologize to the
Craig T. Wetzel, 46, of North Whitehall Township, was sentenced to six
months of probation and ordered to pay $2,700 in fines for the Nov. 30
shooting of Casey Burns, 18, also of North Whitehall Township.
Wetzel also lost hunting privileges for five to 10 years and will be
required to pay $3,175 in restitution.
After the plea, Burns asked Wetzel if he was sorry. He remained silent.
Burns began crying and said, "I just think that's really, really mean."
Burns was shot while she sat in a car in her driveway. She was seven
months pregnant at the time and gave birth to a healthy girl, Hailey Alexis,
Calling the sentence a "slap on the wrist," Burns' mother, Allie
Dickinson, said she is planning a lawsuit against Wetzel. She said he should
be held responsible for her daughter's hospital bills, which total more than
$137,000, not including the cost of her rehabilitation.
Wetzel was chargd with hunting law violations because Lehigh County
prosecutors concluded that his actions, while careless, were not criminal.