Monday, September 3, 2012

Reckless Turkey Hunter Incredibly Found Not Guilty

Richard A. Paddon Jr. was found not guilty of third-degree assault. Another charge, third-degree reckless endangerment, was dropped by County Judge Richard C. Giardino.

Paddon was indicted by a grand jury in April on charges that he accidentally shot Dale S. Gray Jr. while hunting wild turkey in an open field at 162 Hill Road in Ephratah on May 14, 2011.

Police said Paddon fired a 12-gauge shotgun and struck Gray in the back and head.

"The jury did a good job looking at the evidence,"? Horan said today. "At the end, they agreed it was an accident - it certainly was an unfortunate incident."
Hunters especially should be aware of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety.  In order to accomplish a stunt like this, at least two of the Rules had to be violated. How in the world a jury could exonerate someone for this is beyond me.

Negligence with guns is not taken seriously enough. It should not be excused by simply calling it an "accident."

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. I don't know the details of this particular event. I do know that there is a small risk that accompanies hunting. And I am okay with the small risk. After all, there is some level of risk with everything in life and hunting on public land is no exception.

    When we are talking about shotguns with small pellets for hunting birds and small game, the risk of serious injury or death is extremely low if not all together negligible. Why? Because a hunter with a shotgun would see anyone who was so close that small shot would pose a serious risk of injury or death and they wouldn't pull the trigger. I'm cool with that.

  2. This happened in New York State. If the prosecutor there can't get a conviction with the control freak laws available, perhaps it was just an accident.

  3. The hunter is responsible for positively identifying his target before he even puts his finger on the trigger. No exceptions. Unless the victim was dressed as a turkey, there's no excuse. The shooter should lose his guns and gun rights and serve serious time for manslaughter.

    1. Manslaughter? For what? No one died in this story.

    2. True, on second reading it doesn't say. I had assumed he was killed. But my basic premise remains. There's no excuse for the shooting.

    3. Greg, in his haste to nit-pick, failed to acknowledge that Baldr is absolutely right. There's no excuse and the consequences should be the loss of gun rights.