Teen On Trial For Hunting Death ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Teen On Trial For Hunting Death

A 19-year-old deer hunter who fatally shot a farmer is still waiting for a verdict on his trial after a jury deliberated for more than five hours on Friday (20OCT06) without reaching a decision. Collin Viens was accused of involuntary manslaughter after a bullet he 248 yards and hit 60-year-old Rejean Lussier as he sat in the cab of his tractor looking for deer (23NOV05). If convicted, Viens could serve 15 years in prison. Franklin County State Attorney Jim Hughes said, "We have a victim who is dead, a family who's lost a patriarch. And we've got on the other side, the defendant, an 18-year-old with no prior criminal history." According to the state, Viens failed to follow safe hunting practices when he placed his finger on the trigger, removed the safety lock and aimed at something other than a deer - making him responsible for Lussier's death. Widow Bonnie Lussier said, "I know he's responsible." Hughes said, "This is a trial about responsibility. Ultimately, the defendant acted irresponsibly. He was responsible for the shots he fired, he was responsible for the bullet's path and the target he hit. He was responsible for Rejean Lussier's death and he hadn't taken responsibility."

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