General District Court Judge Gordon Wilkins sentenced John Barnes
to serve six months in jail after convicting him of trespassing to
hunt and the reckless handling of a firearm Monday in connection
with the shooting of James Marston in Heathsville May 7.
Assistant Commonwealths Attorney Elizabeth Trible called both James,
who testified he was hit by shot in 29 places, and his brother,
Phillip, as witnesses. Barnes testified on his own behalf.
The Marston brothers described an unknown truck they found parked on
their grandmotherís property when they arrived to turkey hunt. They
said they heard no one, saw no one and found no footprints to
indicate a hunter.
Phillip then made a hen turkey call and
immediately heard a responding hen call. The brothers heard that
distinct call move from the right of their position to directly in
front of them. Philip and James then suspected a hunter
was nearby and started whistling to alert him that others were in
the woods. The only response they received was a gun shot,
which hit James and sent him to his knees.
On the stand,
Barnes said he has hearing problems and hadnít heard the whistling.
He said heíd seen a gobbler and three hens. Then the hens
disappeared and after that the gobbler disappeared. Moments later,
Barnes said he saw white and thought it was the gobbler. He shot.
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