USDA Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Christopher Upton, 37, was shot and killed by a hunter who was coyote hunting and mistook him for game at the Ocmulgee Bluff Equestrian Recreation Area in Jasper County, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
A federal grand jury has charged a 41-year-old McDonough man with the accidental shooting death of a U.S. Forest Service ranger.
The Macon U.S. attorney's office says Norman Clinton Hale is charged in the March 5, 2010 shooting of 37-year-old Christopher Arby Upton. Upton was shot while on routine patrol in the Ocmulgee Bluff Equestrian Recreation Area in Jasper County.
At the time, DNR officials says Upton was shot at night by hunters who apparently mistook him for a coyote. They say he was shot once and died instantly.
Authorities say Hale is charged with involuntary manslaughter in
the killing of a federal officer and with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000.00 plus three years' supervised release. The firearm offense carries a mandatory, minimum, consecutive sentence of 10 years' imprisonment up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine plus five years' of supervised release.