PA: Probation for hunter in shooting
October 27, 2010
Probation for hunter in shooting Man, who believed target was turkey not
boy, pleads to causing injury with shot, not rendering aid.
WILKES-BARRE – A Shickshinny man who believed he was shooting at a turkey
but instead struck a 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty to related charges
Tuesday and was sentenced to two years probation.
Gary Alan Savidge, 45, of Town Hill Road, pleaded guilty to charges of
shooting at and causing someone injury and failing to render assistance. He
was immediately sentenced by Luzerne County Judge Joseph Van Jura to two
Savidge was ordered to have no contact with the boy and to forfeit any
hunting licenses for a period of 10 years. Van Jura also told Savidge to
avoid drugs and alcohol and to pay $134 in costs to the state police.
Savidge was represented by attorney Vito Deluca. First Assistant District
Attorney Jeff Tokach prosecuted the case.
According to court papers, on Nov. 21, 2009, Andrew Stola was shot in the
abdomen by Savidge, who was hunting in an area where Stola and his father
were hunting with traps in Huntington Township.
Before being flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, the boy told
state police that he did not see anyone and no one came to his aid.
Savidge was in the area hunting turkeys and fired a round from a .308
caliber rifle that had a scope. Wildlife Conservation officers said in their
complaint that Savidge was approximately 205 feet away from the boy when he
fired the shot.
Wildlife Conservation officers said the single gunshot wound was serious
and life-threatening. The boy recovered shortly after the shooting and
returned to school.
Savidge left the area after hearing someone shout from the direction in
which he fired the shot, believing it was someone yelling at him for the
shooting, the criminal complaint says.
He returned to the area later in the day and approached an officer
saying, “I think you are looking for me,” police said.
In May, Stola was awarded $300,000 in a settlement of a lawsuit against
Stola’s attorney, Richard Russo, of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald in
Wilkes-Barre, reached a settlement with Savidge’s homeowner’s insurance
provider, Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance.
The settlement was approved by county Judge Lewis Wetzel.
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