By GM Today Staff August 20, 2004
A man charged in the hunting death of a friend was found
not guilty of second-degree reckless homicide Thursday.
Mark Weber, 42, of Adell had been charged in the death
last Nov. 23 of William Mundt, 33, of West Bend.
Mundt was shot in the abdomen while walking across a town
of Scott field toward his hunting party.
Weber testified during his jury trial in Sheboygan County
Circuit Court that he saw a brown object in the field and fired, thinking it
was a deer.
Mundt was shot in the lower abdomen as he was walking away
from his deer stand in the town of Scott, according to a sheriff's
department spokesman, and died some hours later in a Milwaukee hospital.
Weber faced a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a
$100,000 fine if he was convicted, according to a district attorney's office
The sequence of events leading to the charges being filed
Mundt, who was hunting alone, had apparently left his tree
stand and was walking across a field near the intersection of Highway S and
Trout Springs Road towards his vehicle at approximately 4:58 p.m., according
to Capt. Dave Adams of the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department.
In the interim, a group of four other hunters in Mundt's
party - including Weber - had driven a pickup truck into that field to field
dress a deer one of them had just shot. The group was using the headlights
of the truck to assist them when one in the party said he saw "eyes in the
field," Adams said.
Weber then allegedly reloaded a round in his shotgun,
Adams said, and fired a round in that direction, striking Mundt.
Hunting hours in that zone, Adams said, end at 4:40 p.m.,
almost 20 minutes prior to the fatal shot being fired.
"Hunting hours were over," Adams said.
Although Mundt's family would not comment on the juries
findings, the family plans on filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Weber.
Janet Mundt, the victim's sister, said earlier that Weber was "William's
best friend." The land where the incident occurred is owned by Weber,
At the time, she called the series of events leading up to
the shooting a "tragic mistake."
"William made a mistake by taking off his orange coat, and
(Weber) made a mistake by not identifying what he was shooting at," she
"He's going to have to live with this for the rest of his
life," she said.
Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco said he and
the investigators pondered long and hard before making the decision,
however, the weight of Weber's alleged negligence was too great to ignore.
"Where is it written that all hunting accidents have to be
labeled as accidents?" he said. "This was such a clear, basic hunting
violation that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Mundt. It was absolutely
DeCecco said the verdict was "very disappointing."
One juror, Peter Nyenhuis, said the prosecution was unable
to prove that Weber's actions were reckless.
"There wasn't enough evidence to prove he was aware of the
risks," he said.
''It was a tremendous loss. It was his best friend,'' said
defense lawyer Richard Wells. ''There are no winners here.''