Hunter charged with manslaughter pleads not guilty

10:25 PM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A hunting incident involving two men shooting at the same deer has left one dead, the other facing manslaughter charges.

Christopher Austin, 41, of Wales, appeared in Androscoggin Superior Court Friday and pleaded not guilty to one count of manslaughter and one count of discharging a firearm near a dwelling.

According to the Maine Warden Service, the agency that investigated the November 20 incident, Austin shot another hunter, Gerard Parent, 49, of Wales, in the chest as the two men were tracking the same deer.

The shooting happened in a patch of woods beside Parent's home on East Road in Wales.

Austin's attorney, Scott Lynch, said he plans to argue that Parent was not wearing proper hunting gear at the time of the shooting.

He said Parent appeared over a ridge suddenly, just as Austin was firing his two shots at the deer.

He said his client attempted "life saving assistance" once he realized Parent had been shot.

"No matter the outcome of the trial, you never get over that," said Lynch.

The Warden Service reports this death as the only hunting-related fatality in the deer rifle hunting season this year.

In the last 10 years, the Warden Service has recorded 78 "hunting-related incidents," with three ending fatally.


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