Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > January 29, 2005

Man charged with manslaughter in hunting death

From the AP WIRE Today's stories
Saturday, January 29, 2005 4:30 pm

Associated Press

BANGOR, Maine — A 20-year-old Newport man has been arrested and charged with manslaughter after he fatally shot a friend in the chest while hunting deer from a tree stump, police said.

Adam Nason was charged in Penobscot County Court with manslaughter, night hunting, hunting after having killed one deer, and false registration of a deer. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

If convicted, Nason faces up to 40 years in prison.

Police said Nason fatally shot James Griffin Jr., 21, of Levant, on Nov. 8 while hunting illegally in the woods off Route 222. He allegedly fired the shot after 5 p.m., approximately 15 minutes after legal hunting ended for the day.

Bail was set at $10,000 with conditions prohibiting Nason from hunting or possessing a firearm until the case is resolved. A trial date has not been set.

"The facts will bear out the charges and the defendant will be convicted," said assistant Attorney General William Bahdoyan, who is prosecuting the case.

The younger Griffin and two cousins, Alfred Griffin, 24, and Scott Griffin, 22, all originally from Levant, were hunting on family property when the shooting occurred, according to wardens.

Information about the case has been posted on a Web site belonging to the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting based in New Paltz, N.Y.

Defense attorney Hilary Billings of Bangor said it was too early to comment on the facts of the case, but he said he was concerned about the type of attention the case might bring to his client.

"I hope the case does not become the target of organizations that may or may not be part of the case," Billings said, referring to anti-hunting groups.

The victim´s father, James Griffin Sr., has said he feels no ill will toward Nason, a longtime family friend. The two families have visited since the shooting.

The shooting was the first hunting fatality since Maine law changed in 2003 to allow hunting a half-hour after sunset.

Information from: Bangor Daily News

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