Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2004


10:29 AM PDT on Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. -- A judge has sentenced Curtis James Hausotter to five years and nine months in prison for killing his best friend while hunting near Cottage Grove on a foggy morning this past October.

Hausotter, 29, hung his head during much of Tuesday's hearing and apologized to the family of his friend Jason Matthew Roe.

Lane County Circuit Court Judge Eveleen Henry allowed Roe's family to testify about their feelings of loss and betrayal.

Roe's fiance, Kristina Clark, who was pregnant at the time of the shooting, said she and Roe shared a "once-in-a-lifetime love" snuffed out by Hausotter's negligence on Oct. 4.

"You have shown no remorse," she said. "Your continued poor choices continue to slap this family in the face."

Hausotter pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, to being a felon in possession of a firearm, and for failure to appear in court. He was sentenced to a total of five years and nine months in prison and ordered to pay $25,000 in compensation to Clark.

Hausotter and Roe, 29, first intended to fish at a pond near Roe's house.

Hausotter, a convicted felon, brought along a rifle, and Roe had a .22-caliber handgun. But the pond was too dirty for fishing. So the men decided to do some hunting in spite of the thick fog, Lane County Deputy District Attorney Debra Vogt said.

"They separated. ... Mr. Hausotter said he saw something in the fog. He knelt, he aimed and he fired," Vogt said.

He shot his friend in the side. The bullet pierced Roe's heart.

"He basically was dead before he hit the ground," Vogt said.

Hausotter told police he thought his friend was a deer.

Defense attorney Michael Phillips requested a lesser sentence, noting that Hausotter has acknowledged from the outset that he is responsible for Roe's death.

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