New Bern Sun Journal
April 06, 2004
Sun Journal Staff
Davis has hunting privileges suspended for three
A 17-year-old Craven County boy had his hunting privileges
suspended for three years as part of his punishment for a hunting mishap on
Oct. 21 in Clarks near the railroad tracks.
Matthew Rawls Davis was charged with firing a firearm
without due caution and in a manner that endangers a person, one count of
failing to wear hunter-orange clothing; one count of engaging in an activity
not covered under that license; and one count of making an application of a
license for which he was not entitled.
The mishap left Guy Pepper, 29, an Oaks Road Elementary
School teacher with eight pellets of No. 1 buckshot in his groin and thigh.
Davis' attorney, Jeffrey Miller of Greenville, pled no
contest to making an application for a license that Davis was not entitled
and negligent hunting.
The two other charges were consolidated for judgment.
Thinking it was a pack of wild dogs, Davis fired a
12-gauge shotgun in Pepper's direction. Pepper was hunting with his
brother-in-law, Matt Adams.
Miller told District Court Judge Paul Quinn that his
client did not know he was required to have a hunter's safety course to get
his license to hunt in North Carolina.
"After Mr. Pepper was shot, Mr. Davis ran over to him. He
and Mr. Adams put Mr. Pepper in his car and ran through a sustainable gate
to get Mr. Pepper help," Miller said.
Pepper told the judge that Davis "came to my aid quickly."
Pepper was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital after first
responders stabilized him after the shooting.
"I only saw the flash of the gun," Pepper told Quinn.
Pepper, who teaches physical education, was out of work
for several days.
Miller told the court that the Davis family has cooperated
with Pepper and that Davis' family was paying all hospital bills and other
Quinn handed Davis a 45-day suspended jail sentence, court
costs and unsupervised probation for three years.
"Mr. Pepper was very lucky. This could have had a much
more serious outcome," Quinn said.
Francine Sawyer can be reached at
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