A New York man has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after he shot and killed a woman he says he mistook for a deer.
Thomas Jadlowski, 34, pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge and hunting after hours on Thursday. His bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Rosemary Billquist, 43, was walking her dogs in a field in the town of Sherman on Nov. 22 when she was shot by Jadlowski, who was about 200 yards away, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.
"After firing the shot, hearing a scream and finding Ms. Billquist, Mr. Jadlowski immediately called 911," a press release announcing the indictment reads.
Billquist was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
A preliminary investigation found that Jadlowski fired the shot after sunset, the sheriff's office said. According to New York State regulations, deer hunting is only allowed from sunrise to sunset.
"Today, Mr. Jadlowski is being held accountable for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he shot his neighbor in the dark,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement. “I commend the work of our ECOs, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson in helping to bring this case to fruition, and I hope it serves as an example for all that illegal hunting after sunset and reckless conduct with firearms will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Jadlowski is due back in court on Jan. 29.