A New Hampshire hunter has been convicted of negligent homicide in the shooting death of a Massachusetts man in 2011.
Fifty-year-old Wade Holmes of Lisbon also was convicted Wednesday of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon in the death of Kenneth Brunelle of Marlboro, Mass. The verdict came after a five-day trial and the jury’s visit to the shooting scene.
Brunelle was unarmed and walking with his father and brother on opening day of firearm deer season when he was shot once and instantly killed. He had been carrying a video camera to document the hunt.
“It was his first experience and he was an observer,” Grafton County Attorney Jack Bell said.
The Caledonian Record reports Holmes faces a maximum sentence of 3 ½ to seven in prison. His sentencing hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Holmes was accused of failing to identify with certainty the target at which he was shooting, and for shooting at and killing Brunelle, whom he mistook for a deer.
Defense attorney Leonard Harden argued Holmes shot at a doe that appeared between Holmes and Brunelle. He said Brunelle’s camouflage clothing, position in the woods and the area’s undergrowth made him hard to see.
Harden also argued a deer was recently in the area just before the shot and pointed out text messages from Brunelle to family members minutes before the shooting stating a deer had been spotted.