AUBURN — A Wales man who shot and killed a hunter this past November was indicted Wednesday on charges of manslaughter and discharging a firearm near a dwelling.
Christopher Austin, 41, was officially charged by an Androscoggin County grand jury with causing the death of Gerard Parent, 49, on Nov. 20, 2012.
Austin was picked up on a warrant and taken to Androscoggin County Jail Thursday morning by the Maine Warden Service. He was released on a $20,000 property lien.
Austin caused the death “recklessly or with criminal negligence,” according to the indictment. Austin also was charged with discharging his Remington 700, a .308-caliber rifle, within 100 yards of a building or residential building without permission of the owner.
According to the Maine Warden Service, Parent and Austin were shooting at the same deer in an area between East Road and Route 126. According to investigators, both were hunting with rifles. A preliminary investigation revealed that Austin fired two shots and Parent fired one. Austin’s second shot struck Parent and killed him, according to Cpl. John MacDonald.
The incident was reported at 4:19 p.m. on Nov. 20, shortly before the end of the hunting day.
According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, Parent died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
The manslaughter charge is a Class A felony. If convicted, Austin could face up to 30 years in jail and up to a $50,000 fine.