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January 20, 2011
Chester Man Sentenced for May 2010 Hunting-Related Shooting Incident
Augusta, Maine - Joel L. Susen, 29, of Chester plead “no contest” today for Assault While Hunting (Class D) in Penobscot County Superior Court in Bangor.
Mr. Susen was the shooter in a hunting-related shooting incident on May 11, 2010 in Chester in which he shot Adam P. Jewell, 29, of LaGrange while the two were hunting turkeys together.
Mr. Susen shot Mr. Jewell in the face from approximately 40 yards with turkey load from a 12-gauge shotgun when he failed to properly indentify his target. Mr. Jewell lost one of his eyes because of the incident and still has pellets lodge behind his other eye.
Class D violations are punishable up to 364 days in jail and $2,000 in fines. Superior Court Justice Kirk Studstrup sentenced Susen to 60 days in jail with all but 30 days suspended. Susen also was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service including speaking to sporting groups about the importance of properly identifying your target when hunting.
Maine Warden Service Captain, Dan Scott, commented that the people of the state of Maine need to feel safe while recreating in the outdoors during hunting season.
“There needs to be accountability and consequences when hunters fail to properly identify their target,” said Captain Scott. “It’s not all about the victim; it’s also about protecting the heritage of hunting and the tradition of outdoor recreation in the state of Maine.”
Captain Scott complimented the actions of the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office and the outstanding commitment they exhibited to this incident. “By nature, hunting-related shooting incidents often involve family, friends and serious injuries, making them difficult cases to prosecute,” Scott said.
By statute, Mr. Susen will lose his hunting privileges for a period of 10 years
In 2010, there were five hunting-related incidents in which someone was injured, with the injuries to Mr. Jewell being the most serious. There were no fatalities, for the second consecutive year.
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