BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – A 29-year-old Massachusetts hunter will serve one year of a three-to-five-year suspended sentence in the shooting death of a man who was out picking berries when the hunter fired at him, later telling authorities he thought the victim was a black bear.

Brian Gilbert told Judge Kathleen Carroll during Friday’s sentencing hearing in Vermont District Court that he made a tragic mistake. He had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Authorities say Douglas Bartlett, who had been out picking blueberries when he was shot, asked Gilbert to call 911 so he could get aid, but that Gilbert did not do so.

Toni Bartlett, the victim’s wife, said she would like to see the law changed to stiffen sentences in such cases.


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