Teenager that Killed Hiker in Washington: "Guilty, 2nd Degree"

This is a discussion on Teenager that Killed Hiker in Washington: "Guilty, 2nd Degree" within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; But he only faces three months! http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...gdeath03m.html A Skagit County juvenile court judge has determined that a teenage boy who fatally shot a woman he ...

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Thread: Teenager that Killed Hiker in Washington: "Guilty, 2nd Degree"

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Teenager that Killed Hiker in Washington: "Guilty, 2nd Degree"

    But he only faces three months!

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...gdeath03m.html

    A Skagit County juvenile court judge has determined that a teenage boy who fatally shot a woman he mistook for a bear on Sauk Mountain last year is guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

    A second hearing to determine whether the boy, now 15, should serve additional time for using a firearm in the commission of the crime will be held at a later date, according to the Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

    The boy, who is not being named because he is a juvenile, could face 15 months in a detention center. He was 14 at the time of the shooting.

    Judge Susan Cook, who issued her verdict this morning after a five day bench trial, determined that the boy had been negligent, but found him not guilty of first-degree manslaughter and recklessness.

    Cook issued the verdicts this morning after a five-day bench trial in which Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich claimed that the death of 54-year-old Pamela Almli was the result of criminal recklessness because the boy failed to positively identify the target with binoculars before pulling the trigger.

    The boy's attorney, Roy Howson, argued that the shooting was a tragic accident.

    According to investigators, the teenager and his older brother, now 17, had been dropped off at a trailhead on Sauk Mountain by their grandfather, who remained in the vehicle.

    It was a foggy morning, according to both boys and other hikers, and after several hours of hiking, both boys said they saw what they thought was a bear on the mountain about 100 yards ahead of them, according to court documents.

    The boys both had rifles with 3X-magnification scopes and both looked through their scopes for "a few minutes" before the younger boy said, "It's a bear, it's a bear," and, "I've got my cross hairs on it,"court documents allege.

    The older boy agreed and told his brother to go ahead and shoot, according to police and prosecutors.

    Almli, an experienced hiker and sportswoman from Oso, Snohomish County, was hiking with a longtime friend when she was killed about 10 a.m. by a single shot to the head fired from the boy's Tikka .270-caliber rifle, court documents allege. She was wearing a light-blue jacket and green pants when she was shot, investigators said.

    Before her death, she had stopped on the trail for a minute to remove her blue jacket, peel off a black fleece sweat shirt — which she placed in her friend's backpack — and put the blue coat on again.



    Her friend also was wearing a blue jacket, according to investigators with the Skagit County Sheriff's Department.

    The friend jumped off the trail and slid down the mountain in fear for her life, according to the charging documents.

    She heard someone say, "Oh my God, it's a person," the documents allege, and then heard footsteps running for the parking lot. The boys ran to the lot to tell their grandfather what had happened.

    Police and prosecutors said that although the boy was licensed and had taken a hunting safety class when he was 9, he failed to follow the Washington State Hunters guide. The guide warns to always use binoculars and never a telescopic sight to identify a target, and to make sure the area behind the target is clear.

    Almli was the first non-hunter to be killed by a hunter in Washington in more than 25 years.

    Her death caused an uproar among hikers, hunters and other users of the outdoors and caused state officials to consider age restrictions for solo juvenile hunters.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    A second hearing to determine whether the boy, now 15, should serve additional time for using a firearm in the commission of the crime will be held at a later date, according to the Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
    Hopefully he won't serve additional time...this was an accident, pure and simple. He did not have any criminal intent to kill the woman...but maybe I'm being too logical....it appears they are trying to punish him the same as a gangbanger...which is wrong.
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    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Like I said in a thread just a little while ago
    Some mistakes, even horrible ones, don't deserve jail time. They end up getting a far more just punishment from society/spouse/self/God.
    I don't think he should go to jail.

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Two kids hunting. Not the best recipe.

    Disobeying a 'guide' now used as a tool for conviction? Ridiculous.

    Still, they were wrong. 15 and 17 year olds make stupid mistakes. This was a biggie.

    Gotta hate those blue bears.
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    Member Array Fred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Two kids hunting. Not the best recipe.

    Disobeying a 'guide' now used as a tool for conviction? Ridiculous.

    Still, they were wrong. 15 and 17 year olds make stupid mistakes. This was a biggie.

    Gotta hate those blue bears.
    I used to ride my bicycle to the mountain to hunt by myself when I was barely in my teens. It was hammered into me by my dad you don't shoot what you aren't absolutely sure of and make sure you know where your bullets are going (background). It's very hard to be sure when what you shoot turns out to be a person. A woman lost her life in an area I've hiked with my wife and son several times. It isn't just kids who make mistakes, sometimes old farts do too. It's still tragic whenever inocents are killed. Very Sad.
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    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    ...this was an accident, pure and simple. He did not have any criminal intent to kill the woman...but maybe I'm being too logical....it appears they are trying to punish him the same as a gangbanger...which is wrong.

    A 14 & 17 year old, hunting alone. Shooting a Brown Bear or a Black Bear, I can understand. But shooting a green and blue bear, that's pretty reckless.
    But let's just let him off scott free. I mean, it was just an accident, right? Nobody hurt, right?
    Oh wait, a 41 yr old hiker died from a gunshot wound to the head. I guess somebody did get hurt.
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    Member Array UW Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    Police and prosecutors said that although the boy was licensed and had taken a hunting safety class when he was 9, he failed to follow the Washington State Hunters guide. The guide warns to always use binoculars and never a telescopic sight to identify a target, and to make sure the area behind the target is clear.
    I was not aware the hunters guide carried any legal value.

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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P7fanatic View Post

    A 14 & 17 year old, hunting alone. Shooting a Brown Bear or a Black Bear, I can understand. But shooting a green and blue bear, that's pretty reckless.
    But let's just let him off scott free. I mean, it was just an accident, right? Nobody hurt, right?
    Oh wait, a 41 yr old hiker died from a gunshot wound to the head. I guess somebody did get hurt.
    I agree. the fact is that they did not id the target. if in dought do not shoot. that rule ranks up there with keep you finger off the bang stick.

    jail time is needed. why, because a crime was comited.
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    No winners in this incident. This is a tragedy that will affect many families for a long time.
    Some punishment is due, but I don't believe anyone intended to harm someone...just poor judgement on those hunting and those supervising.
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    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrenke View Post
    I agree. the fact is that they did not id the target. if in dought do not shoot. that rule ranks up there with keep you finger off the bang stick.

    jail time is needed. why, because a crime was comited.
    What would jail time do other than indoctrinate them from older crooks and lead them down a slippery slope. It was an accident and they already have learned their lesson. Some form of punishment/reparations are needed, but not incarceration.

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UW Dawg View Post
    I was not aware the hunters guide carried any legal value.
    Actually, in this case it does make sense. Nobody is arguing that he killed the woman on purpose, so the issue is one of negligence. To get a hunting license probably requires signing something that says you read the guide.

    Well, he failed to abide that instruction and somebody died. The prosecution argument is that the kid was provided with the information needed to avoid that mistake, but he didn't use it.

    That's negligence. It could well be criminally negligent homicide that gets charged as Murder 2.
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    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    i don't know about jail time,but some form of punishment is needed i think.
    the boy (saw) what he wanted to see not what was there.
    yes, there are no winners in this incident.im sure the woman that was with her has nightmares about this all the time.
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    Member Array sspargo's Avatar
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    I'm going to be the bad guy here and say that there's no way in heck that these boys actually thought the woman was a bear. They are BOTH full of excrement. It was probably more like a dare, an attempt to scare, "they're on our huntin grounds" or a "I wonder what would happen if..." scenario. There were TWO PEOPLE and neither were in a bear suit.

    The boy, who is not being named because he is a juvenile, could face 15 months in a detention center. He was 14 at the time of the shooting.

    According to investigators, the teenager and his older brother, now 17, had been dropped off at a trailhead on Sauk Mountain by their grandfather, who remained in the vehicle.

    It was a foggy morning, according to both boys and other hikers, and after several hours of hiking, both boys said they saw what they thought was a bear on the mountain about 100 yards ahead of them, according to court documents.

    The boys both had rifles with 3X-magnification scopes and both looked through their scopes for "a few minutes" before the younger boy said, "It's a bear, it's a bear," and, "I've got my cross hairs on it,"court documents allege.

    Almli, an experienced hiker and sportswoman from Oso, Snohomish County, was hiking with a longtime friend when she was killed about 10 a.m. by a single shot to the head fired from the boy's Tikka .270-caliber rifle, court documents allege. She was wearing a light-blue jacket and green pants when she was shot, investigators said.

    Her friend also was wearing a blue jacket, according to investigators with the Skagit County Sheriff's Department.

    The friend jumped off the trail and slid down the mountain in fear for her life, according to the charging documents.

    She heard someone say, "Oh my God, it's a person," the documents allege, and then heard footsteps running for the parking lot. The boys ran to the lot to tell their grandfather what had happened.

    The bold type highlights my issues of concern.

    This DA did a horrible job here.

    With a little reason, I believe it is easy to see that there is NO WAY these boys (especially the older one, the one that didn't shoot) could have really thought the hiker was a bear.
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    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    She heard someone say, "Oh my God, it's a person,

    this tells me they didn't know it was a person.this is what the woman that was with her heard one of them say.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    He should be punished the same as someone who accidentally runs over a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This is no different to me.

    Michael

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