Trial starts for man accused of killing stepson in hunting incident

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Laura FitzgeraldBrian WellsPort Huron Times HeraldView Comments0:070:58

The prosecution and defense presented opposing views in the first day of a jury trial for a man charged with his killing his 11-year-old stepson during a hunting incident in Clay Township.

St. Clair County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney JoshuaSparling said John Varndell Jr. was with his stepson, Zachary Rock, on Sept. 13 in Clay Townshipfor a youth hunt organized by the Department of Natural Resources.

Safety precautions weren’t taken for the hunt, including the wearing of hunter’s orange. Varndell decided to go off on his own, not knowing where the rest of the group was.

In the dark, where the group could only see using flashlights and cell phones, Varndell fired eight shots, Sparling said.

St. Clair County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Sparling makes his opening statement in the trial for John Varndell Jr. Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Port Huron.

“You’re going to hear about eight shots that went ringing out through those woods,” Sparling said. “How one of those shots went right…

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