AUBURN — A Wales man convicted of killing a hunter near his home is expected to go to trial next month on a wrongful death claim.

Christopher Austin, 45, was sentenced last year to two and a half years in prison for manslaughter in connection with the 2012 fatal shooting of 49-year-old Gerard Parent.

Austin was sentenced at the same time to seven years in prison on unrelated sexual assault charges.

Austin told authorities he believed he was shooting at a deer when he opened fire with a hunting rifle on Nov. 20, 2012.

Parent, who investigators say was apparently after the same deer, died from a single gunshot to the chest.

The sexual assault charges were lodged while Austin was awaiting trial on the manslaughter charge. He pleaded guilty to charges from both cases and was sentenced at a hearing in May 2015.

Gerard Parent’s widow, Becky Ann Brown, who filed the civil complaint against Austin in Androscoggin County Superior Court, spoke briefly at that hearing.

She said she couldn’t hold a job because of the turmoil caused by the loss of her husband, who she described as hardworking, responsible, “organized to a fault” and kind.

Brown wrote in a sworn affidavit that she has been on medication and under the care of a doctor due to the emotional toll her husband’s death has had on her health.

Brown secured a court-ordered attachment of $30,000 against Austin, who denied having homeowners’ insurance, according to a sworn statement by Brown’s attorney, Stephen Wade.

Austin caused Parent’s death “recklessly or with criminal negligence,” according to an Androscoggin County grand jury indictment. Austin also had been charged with shooting his Remington 700, a .308-caliber rifle, within 100 yards of a building or residential building without the property owner’s permission.

According to the Maine Warden Service, Parent and Austin were shooting at the same deer in a partially wooded 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.

Austin told authorities he had spotted two deer, a buck and a doe, walking near a home on Gardner Road. He parked his truck and pursued the deer on foot. He shot once at the buck from the yard of a home he believed was vacant, he said. Austin said he heard a gunshot and saw Parent at the back door of an East Road home. Austin continued to track the deer and thought he saw the white tail of the deer and shot again. He saw his target drop. When he arrived at the site, he realized he had shot someone, he told wardens.

Austin said he screamed for help and checked the shooting victim’s vital signs. He flagged down a driver on a nearby road and had him call 911. He moved Parent’s body closer to the road and performed first aid until emergency responders arrived, he said.

Parent had been wearing a blaze orange vest at the time he was shot, wardens said in court papers.

At an October 2014 hearing, Austin’s attorney, Scott Lynch, argued his client should be allowed to have experts testify at his criminal trial, who would say that the shooting victim had an elevated level of alcohol in his blood at the time of his death and that he had “negligently placed himself in the direct line of fire.”

Prosecutors countered with the argument that the legal burden had been on Austin to identify his target before shooting. Assistant Attorney General John Alsop said testimony from either witness would have been be misleading and irrelevant.

A judge never ruled on the motion because Austin entered into a plea agreement.

The civil trial is expected to start Aug. 15.

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