January 10, 2013

Maine man indicted in hunter's death

The Maine Warden Service says the two men were shooting at the same deer.

From staff reports

A Wales man has been indicted on a charge of manslaughter in connection with a hunting-related shooting in November that left another local man dead.

Authorities have said that Christopher Austin, 41, of Andrews Road, Wales, shot and killed 49-year-old Gerard Parent at twilight on Nov. 20. Parent, who lived on nearby East Road and was killed close to his home, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the state medical examiner's office found.

The Maine Warden Service said both men were tracking the same deer in a sliver of woods between East Road and Route 126, and both apparently fired at that deer.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported Wednesday that Austin has been indicted on charges of manslaughter and discharge of a firearm near a dwelling. An Androscoggin County grand jury indicted Austin on allegations that he acted "recklessly or with criminal negligence," using a .308-caliber rifle within 100 yards of a building, the newspaper reported.

The Androscoggin County indictment against Austin wasn't available Wednesday. William Stokes, chief of the criminal division for the Office of the Maine Attorney General, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night and Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, didn't know about the indictment.

Authorities have said the fatal shooting was the only one of the deer rifle hunting season in Maine.

The shooting took place around 4:19 p.m., about 12 minutes after sunset but 13 minutes before the state-required end of the hunting day.

Parent lived at 392 East Road, at the southern end near the intersection with Route 126, and wardens say the shooting occurred near his property. The land slopes steeply down from the road and the wooded area where he was shot is in a valley.

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