IPOH: A bird hunting trip had gone awry for four hunters in Gerik when one of them shot and killed 24-year-old Mohamad Haniff Mat Zabidi after mistaking him for a deer.
The incident happened at a spot in the forest near the Bintang Hijau rest area along Jalan Kupang, Gerik last Sunday (Feb 18), but Mohamad Haniff’s body was discovered on Thursday (Feb 22) afternoon.
Perak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Asst Comm Yahya Abd Rahman said the deceased had gone hunting with his three friends using homemade shotguns.
“During the hunt, the four decided to split up. One of them fired a shot thinking it was a deer and killed Mohamad Haniff on the spot,” he said.
SAC Yahya said a special team from the Criminal Investigation Department was set up to investigate the case.
He added that they picked up the three suspects – two in their 20s and a 65-year-old man – at 9.30am on Friday (Feb 23) and said that the 65-year-old man has a firearms licence.
Earlier, Gerik OCPD Supt Ismail Che Isa said the body was discovered lying on its back.
“His family members said they last saw him on Sunday when he told them he was going hunting,” he said, adding that the body had been sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here for a post-mortem.
The three hunters have been remanded for five days until Feb 27 to assist in investigations under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
A manslaughter charge was dismissed this week against a Sherman man who shot and killed his neighbor in a hunting accident in November.
In a four-page ruling, Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley said the District Attorney’s Office erred when it presented its case in front of a grand jury against Thomas Jadlowski in the death of Rosemary Billquist. Specifically, Foley said District Attorney Patrick Swanson failed to answer a question of a grand juror regarding a lesser charge against the Sherman man.
Jadlowski was indicted by the grand jury on charges of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after dark.
Swanson said he did not agree with Foley’s ruling
“It’s a decision I disagree with,” Swanson told The Post-Journal. “There were some legal hyper-technicalities that I don’t agree with. At this point we have to decide whether to appeal the decision or bring it back to the grand jury.”
However, Swanson said appealing the decision to an appellate court presents “logistical issues” as rulings could take several months. He said his office has 30 days to re-submit the case to another grand jury.
“We have to decide what’s best moving forward,” Swanson said. “The reality is the appeal would take a lot longer, and there are resources that have to be considered.”
According to Foley, the issue began after Swanson gave the grand jury instructions on second-degree manslaughter. A juror asked the district attorney, “What is the next step down? Manslaughter three, if there is such a thing?”
Swanson replied: “The next step down is criminally negligent homicide.”
The district attorney paused before continuing, “I’m going to ask for your consideration on manslaughter second. And I may be back in to ask you to consider on criminally negligent, but I’m asking you to consider manslaughter second first.”
In his ruling, obtained by The Post-Journal, Foley said Swanson should have instructed the grand jury regarding the lesser charge. The judge did note, however, that there was enough evidence to support the original indictment.
“It was clear from the above referenced exchange that the grand jury had an interest, or at least being instructed on, a lesser degree of homicide,” Foley wrote. “It is the opinion of the court that the district attorney, as the grand jury’s legal advisor, had an obligation to answer their questions accurately and to comply with their request, by instructing them on criminal negligent homicide.”
The decision comes not long after an August trial date had been set for Jadlowski, who is being represented by Dunkirk attorney Michael Cerrie. Jadlowski told police he thought he saw a deer Nov. 22 when he fired a single shot, striking Billquist.
Billquist was rushed to an Erie, Pa., hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Swanson said he spoke to Billquist’s family Thursday evening after learning of Foley’s decision. He said he will thoroughly review his options before moving forward.
“Judge Foley found we had sufficient evidence for the indictment,” Swanson said. “This was a hyper-technicality that we should have discussed the lesser offense.”
“This is part of the system,” he continued. “We are still learning our new court.”
MAYVILLE — An August trial date has been set for a Sherman man charged with manslaughter in the November shooting of a woman he reportedly mistook for a deer.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Aug. 7 in front of County Court Judge David Foley in Mayville. Thomas Jadlowski, 34, pleaded not guilty in November after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after dark in the shooting death of 43-year-old Rosemary Billquist.
Jadlowski told police he mistook Billquist for a deer when he fired a single shot after dark Nov. 22 near Armenian Road in Sherman. The shot struck Billquist, who was rushed to an Erie, Pa., hospital and later pronounced dead.
Billquist was walking her two dogs when the incident occurred.
A meeting was held Friday in Foley’s chambers between the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office and Jadlowski’s defense to discuss the date for the upcoming trial. Jadlowski is being represented by Fredonia attorney Michael Cerrie, who did not return a call for comment.
Friday’s announcement comes more than a month after Patrick Swanson, Chautauqua County district attorney, announced charges against Jadlowski during a heavily reported press conference in Mayville. Swanson, who called the shooting a “tragedy,” said his office assisted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and state Department of Environmental Conservation with the investigation.
The grand jury indictment came about a week after the shooting amid national attention. Stories of Billquist’s death appeared, among elsewhere, in the New York Times, Washington Post and People magazine. Jamie Billquist at the time said his wife “loved life and was an angel.”
On Friday, Jamie Billquist said he remains committed to “keeping her memory alive” through foundations established in Rosemary Billquist’s name with the help of her former employer, UPMC Chautauqua WCA, and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Two 5K runs — June 3 in Sherman and June 9 in Falconer — will aid the foundations with scholarships and programs.
Jamie Billquist called the announcement of the trial date “just another step in the process.” He said if the case goes to trial he plans to be there every day.
“I want to be the face of her,” he told The Post-Journal on Friday. “If I have to take off work that’s fine. I want people to see the other side of this tragedy
By Stephen Betts | Sep 06, 2017
WASHINGTON — A 58-year-old Washington man was convicted Wednesday, Sept. 6, of a trio of hunting violations,but the most serious charge, felony cruelty to a deer, was dismissed by the state.
Ronald Mole pleaded no contest in Knox County Superior Court to night hunting, placing bait to entice deer and discharging a firearm near a dwelling. The no contest plea results in a conviction, but allows him to challenge the facts in separate administrative or civil proceedings.
The District Attorney’s Office dismissed a more serious charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. The charge was considered to be the first time that the animal cruelty law had been used in relation to the shooting of a deer by a hunter.
Mole will be fined $1,000 if he adheres to terms of a deferred disposition over the next 12 months. The terms require him to obey all laws during the next year. If he commits any new offenses, he could face up to the maximum of 365 days in jail for the night hunting conviction.
The offenses occurred Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 on the Old Union Road in Washington, according to paperwork filed in court by Maine Game Warden Joey Lefebvre of the Maine Inland and Fish and Wildlife department.
The animal was shot while Mole was illegally night hunting, according to investigators. The deer was left to suffer during the night until Mole returned the following morning, the state claimed.
The cruelty charge had alleged that Mole acted in a way that “manifested a depraved indifference to animal life or suffering, did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause extreme physical pain to an animal, cause the death of an animal, or physically torture an animal.”
Generally, animal cruelty cases involve abuse to pets.
After Mole was charged, his attorney, Christopher MacLean, of Camden, had said he was amazed that his client had been charged with animal cruelty.
“In a state with such a proud hunting tradition, it absolutely amazes me to see a felony prosecution for animal cruelty in a case where the deer was lawfully shot and properly tagged by a licensed Maine hunter. Cases like this slowly erode hunting rights in the state; I fear the next step will be to restrict gun ownership itself by those who have no understanding of Maine’s hunting tradition,” MacLean said at the time the charges were brought.
The state said the hunting occurred at 8 p.m. Nov. 6. Sunset was at 4:19 p.m. Hunting is prohibited from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
Then District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said after the charge was filed that the theory of prosecution for this case was that there was a far greater chance of a deer’s suffering if it was hunted illegally at night when a clean shot is less likely and when the deer cannot be tracked as easily.
Firing a gun within 100 yards of a residential dwelling is illegal in Maine without the permission of the property owner.
A companion case against Lisa Black, 47, of Washington, was dropped by the state. Black had been charged with unsworn falsification and false registration of a deer.
A Big Tancook Island man who was involved in a hunting incident 15 months ago that left a father of two dead, pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm in Bridgewater provincial court on Thursday.
Christopher Adam Stevens, 32, was scheduled to begin trial over the Oct. 28, 2016, incident that occurred while the two men were deer hunting in Big Tancook Island, but his lawyer (Thomas Feindel) informed the court of Stevens’ change of plea.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 12.
The charge carries with it a maximum two-year prison sentence for first-time offenders but the Crown opted to pursue a lesser summary conviction. The maximum sentence in this case is six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Details of the day in question were not disclosed on Thursday but will be laid out during the sentencing hearing.
Feindel would not comment on the case, saying he didn’t have permission from Stevens do so.
Crown prosecutor Emma Baasch, who opened discussions with Feindel a couple of weeks ago, said she wasn’t surprised by Stevens’ decision to plead guilty.
“The case was one in which, like all cases, the Crown has a realistic prospect of conviction and had a realistic prospect of conviction in those circumstances,” said Baasch. “A guilty plea is never really a surprise.”
At this point, the case remains shrouded in mystery. RCMP have been tight-lipped in revealing details of its investigation. What is known is the name of the victim, Barry Slaunwhite, and that the two men knew each other but were not hunting together. The person who was responsible for the shooting made the call to 911.
Slaunwhite’s obituary says the 52-year-old man’s death was a result “of a tragic hunting accident.”
“He had a passion for hunting, fishing and all things outdoors,” states the obituary. “Above all else Barry loved his family, friends and spending time at his cottage on Big Tancook Island. He was especially proud of his grandson Carter whom he loved with all his heart, he treasured every moment he had with him.”
Baasch wouldn’t say whether Stevens’ change in plea would influence the Crown’s sentence recommendation. His punishment could be influenced by a pre-sentence report conducted by Stevens’ probation officer.
“The circumstances of the offender will permit us the best approach to follow in this matter.
“The Crown will be making a recommendation and we may come to an agreement with the defence on what that recommendation is.”
She also touched on the tragedy of the case.
“We’re dealing with a tragic outcome and an activity that’s so widely enjoyed in Nova Scotia,” she said.
“It has impacted a great many people but the facts of the case can’t be discussed until March 12.