FL: Two men charged in Fort White hunting accident
November 8, 2009
Two men, one from Lecanto, charged in Fort White hunting accident
Two men, one from Lecanto, are facing several charges in connection with a
hunting accident at Fort White in early October.
That news came on Friday from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office took the initial report Oct. 12,
when the accident occurred and one of the men was shot in the arm. The
investigation was then turned over to FWC officials, who found
inconsistencies with the men's stories. Both men were re-interviewed.
Gary Stine, 32, of from Lecanto, was shot in the left forearm. His
initial statement indicated he was bowhunting while Joseph Alan Barnes, 18,
of Erwin, N.C., was holding a rifle. Barnes allegedly dropped the rifle and
it fired, striking Stine in the arm.
"One of our concerns was why did they have a firearm during archery
season," said FWC investigator Michael Pridgen. "We discovered that both men
were hunting with rifles."
The FWC investigators also determined that the gunshot was self-inflicted
by Stine. Barnes recanted his initial story and told investigators he heard
the gunshot, followed by Stine's yell for help. Barnes then left his stand
and went to the aid of Stine.
"The sheriff's office seized Stine's .243-caliber rifle as evidence.
"When I inspected the weapon, I found the safety mechanism was completely
unreliable," Pridgen said. "The rifle could be made to fire when the safety
was on, either by pulling the trigger or hitting the stock."
Stine was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
hunting deer with a modern gun during archery season and hunting without a
proper license or permit.
Barnes, who was hunting deer with a 12-gauge shotgun, was charged with
hunting without a proper license or permit and attempting to take deer with
a modern gun during archery season.
"With the cooperation of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, we were
able to close the accident investigation," Pridgen said.
Return to Hunting Accident Index
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain
copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized
by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit,
educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted
material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law).
If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the