A Georgia man admitted to killing a federal officer in a Macon courtroom on Friday.
U.S. District Attorney Michael Moore says 42-year-old Norman Clinton Hale from McDonough pleaded guilty to killing Officer Christopher Upton in March of 2010. Upton was shot at the Ocmulgee Bluff Equestrian Recreation Area in Jasper County while on routine patrol.
Hale accidently shot Upton while coyote hunting. Hale and others waited several hours before calling 911 when they realized they had shot human instead of a coyote. During an interview with police Hale failed to mention that others were present at the time of the shooting.
In a press release, United States Attorney Michael J. Moore stated, "This case is uniquely tragic. It is inconceivable that Forest Service Officer Chris Upton was left to die, without any aid or comfort being offered by Mr. Hale. We are talking about a human being, a husband, a son and father. The failure to immediately call for help or render aid in these circumstances is inexcusable."
Hale faces a maximum sentence of 8 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and a maximum sentence of 20 years for hindering communication to a law enforcement officer.
Sentencing for Hale will be scheduled by the court in March of 2012.