More charges may result from fatal hunting accident

December 13, 2011 at 03:20 PM

East Dubuque, Ill. —
Authorities say additional charges may result from a tragic hunting accident last month in East Dubuque that claimed the life of a 44-year-old man and injured the man’s 15-year-old son.

Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney Terry Kurt said Monday that he has not yet completed his investigation, but that more charges are a possibility. At this point, the hunter who allegedly shot the two individuals, Kelly G. Jackson, 53, of East Dubuque, has been issued a citation for misdemeanor reckless conduct.

“The investigation is ongoing. There are some reports I’m waiting on,” Kurt said. “Additional charges may be forthcoming.”

The shooting occurred at around 5:33 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. John P. Hanlon, 44, of Inverness, Ill., was killed by a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Hanlon’s teenage son, who has not been named by police, was struck by the same shot and was treated and released from Finley Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa.

Authorities say Hanlon and his son were hunting on property located at 17630 U.S. 20 in East Dubuque when the incident took place. Another hunter, Jackson, allegedly fired the shot that struck Hanlon and his son. The shooter and the victims were not part of the same hunting party, but were hunting on the same property.

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Conservation Police are investigating the incident. The conservation police are part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Captain Greg Hunter of the Illinois Conservation Police said Monday that investigators believe the shooting was accidental, but that there still could be “criminal responsibility.”

“There’s no indication at all that there was foul play,” Hunter said. “That doesn’t mean there weren’t criminal offenses.”

Preliminary Report

Hunter is one of two conservation police officers investigating this case. The officers recently completed a preliminary report that has been forwarded to the Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney’s Office. The report includes a “consideration” of additional charges against Jackson, but it will be up to Kurt to decide whether to file more charges, Hunter said.

“There’s no recommendation,” Hunter said of the preliminary report. “We just pointed out what the facts of the matter are.”

Kurt and the conservation police will continue to discuss the case as the investigation moves forward, Hunter said.

A first appearance court date for Jackson has been set for 9 a.m. on Jan. 5 at the Jo Daviess County Courthouse in Galena.

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