A western New York man turned himself in Thursday to face charges he allegedly shot a woman he thought was a deer in a field.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson announced the charges against Thomas B. Jadlowski, 34, of Sherman.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred Nov. 22 in Sherman. State Department of Environment Conservation officers and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a hunting-related shooting at approximately 5:20 p.m.
Swanson called the shooting "completely avoidable."
"Responsible hunting is paramount to the safety of anyone enjoying the outdoors," he said. "This incident is a tragic reminder of the importance that hunting laws be followed."
A woman, Rosemary Billquist, 43, of Sherman, was shot in the hip. Billquist had been walking her dogs in a field behind her home when she was wounded.
Police said Jadlowski, Billquist's neighbor, fired a shot at what he thought it was a deer. After hearing a scream and finding Billquist, he called 911.
When first responders arrived at the scene, Billquist was unresponsive. She was transported to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she later died.
Jadlowski has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after legal hours. He pleaded not guilty in Chautauqua County Court. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property.
His next court date is Jan. 29, 2018. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.