2 charged after probe of hunting fatality
Men attempted to take deer illegally, DEC says
Friday, March 14, 2008
Edward Munger Jr. (Contact)
MINDEN — Montgomery County prosecutors are not filing criminal
charges in the Nov. 17 death of a Fulton County man shot while
hunting with family members in the town of Minden.
But two people in the hunting party were charged with attempting
to take antlerless deer following an investigation, according to the
state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Donald W. Frye, 76, of Caroga Lake, was hit in the hip area with
a shotgun round while hunting with a group of six others off Goulds
Authorities described the territory as private property
ordinarily used to train beagles to hunt rabbits. Such grounds are
typically brush-covered areas with few clearings, authorities said.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department at the time reported
deputies responding to a call just after 1:30 p.m. to find crews
from the South Minden Fire Department and Mid-County Ambulance Corps
performing first aid. Frye was taken to Bassett Hospital in
Cooperstown where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities have declined to say who shot Frye.
Montgomery County Undersheriff Jeffery T. Smith said this week
the department’s investigation has not resulted in charges in the
But an officer from the state Department of Environmental
Conservation filed a total of three charges in connection with the
investigation, said Rick Georgeson, a spokesman at DEC.
Georgeson said Fred Lewis, 17, of Gloversville, was charged with
taking an antlerless deer and attempting to take an antlerless deer.
Michael J. Lewis II, 21, of Gloversville, was charged with
attempting to take an antlerless deer, Georgeson said.
Georgeson said during the investigation that Fred Lewis was found
to be in possession of a doe without a permit, having killed it in
the town of Starkville, Herkimer County.
Both Fred Lewis and Michael J. Lewis II admitted to shooting at a
deer even though they were unable to determine whether the deer had
antlers while hunting off Goulds Road on the day Frye was killed,
Montgomery County District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy sent the
case to Herkimer County District Attorney John H. Crandall because
Frye was related to one of Conboy’s staff members.
Crandall has not returned repeated calls seeking information
Georgeson said authorities in Herkimer County reviewed the case
and declined to file any criminal charges.
Conboy had no comment on the case Thursday.
Fred Lewis’ citations were returnable to Starkville Town Court on
April 16 and Minden Town Court on April 10, Georgeson said.
The citation that was filed against Michael J. Lewis II is
returnable in Minden Town Court on April 10, Georgeson said.