Friday, December 1, 2017

Hunter Charged After Fatally Shooting Woman He Mistook For Deer

An upstate hunter who fatally shot a neighbor he mistook for a deer while illegally hunting after sunset has been slapped with criminal charges, officials announced Thursday.

Thomas Jadlowski, 34, of Sherman was arraigned Thursday on a two-count indictment on manslaughter in the second degree and hunting after legal hours in connection with the Nov. 22 incident that left 43-year-old Rosemary Billquist dead.

Jadlowski had surrendered himself to the Chautauqua County Sherriff’s Office.He pleaded not guilty in Chautauqua County Court, where a judge set his bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property.

Billquist had just taken her labs, Sugar and Stella, out for a walk the day before Thanksgiving when she was struck in the hip by a high-powered pistol fired by Jadlowski just after 5:20 p.m., authorities said.

After firing the shot and hearing a scream, Jadlowski called 911. Emergency responders found Billquist unresponsive about 150 yards behind her home and she was rushed to an Erie, Pa., hospital, where she died.

“This incident is a tragic reminder of the importance that hunting laws be followed. This incident was completely avoidable,” Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson said in a statement Thursday.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Today, Mr. Jadlowski is being held accountable for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he fired a shot in the dark, causing this terrible tragedy.”

The charges Jadlowski faces carry a maximum state prison sentence of 15 years.

Jadlowski is due back in court Jan. 29.

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