Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > January 23, 2005

Man charged in hunting fight will go to trial

By Brian Bridgeford

A Lyndon Station man charged with battering an elderly farmer during a Thanksgiving Day hunting incident was ordered to stand trial Friday.

Dale R. Fleming, 35, appeared in Sauk County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing. He faces a charge of aggravated battery to an elderly person.

Town of Winfield farmer Charles Goad said he was at his Biesek Road residence Thanksgiving Day when he saw hunters trespassing in his field and went to confront them, according to court documents.

The hunters, including Fleming, said they shot a deer on land where they had permission to hunt, and then followed the animal onto Goad's land.

Goad grappled with one man and they fell to the ground, according to records. He said Fleming kicked and hit him while he was on the ground. Fleming also struck him twice with a rifle butt, according to documents.

When interviewed by a sheriff's deputy, Fleming reportedly said he knew they were trespassing when they went to retrieve the deer. He said he hit Goad with his fist, documents show.

During Friday's hearing the judge ruled there was enough evidence to take the case to trial. He entered a plea of innocent on Fleming's behalf.

No trial date or further hearings had been scheduled as of Friday while the prosecution and defense prepare pre-trial motions in the case.

If Fleming is convicted, the aggravated battery charge carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and six years in prison. The prosecution has also modified the charge with the allegation he used a dangerous weapon, the rifle butt. That could add another five years to his prison term, according to court documents.

Fleming is free on a $5,000 signature bond. 

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