Deer Hunting Mishap Leads to Jail Time: Man Accidentally Shot Neighbor with .45 Handgun

Michael Lloyd, a 41-year-old man from College Township, PA, mistakenly shot his elder neighbor. The incident happened while he was trying to shoot a deer with a handgun.

A judge ruled last month that he must serve time in jail, Triblive reports.

Centre County President Judge Jonathan Grine sentenced Lloyd to three to 23½ months in jail. He’s due to report on June 12 to the Centre County Correctional Facility.

In addition, the court revoked his hunting license for five years. He was also ordered to pay over $29,000 in restitution. This amount might increase as the victim undergoes further treatment.

Josh Andrews, the Assistant District Attorney, spoke of the life-changing impact on the 83-year-old victim.

His life “forever and substantially changed.” said Andrews. He explained how the incident stripped the victim of much joy and meaning in his life.

The victim testified in court on Friday. He now uses a cane to walk, something he didn’t need before the shooting.

Once an active individual – a competitive weightlifter, cyclist, and regular hiker, he now relies on prescription glasses and hearing aids. Blood thinners are part of his medications. He struggles with hallucinations, vertigo, and memory problems.

The victim’s wife mourned the transformation of her husband into a “shadow of his former self.” She noted his deteriorating balance and increasing forgetfulness. Their daughter mentioned her mother’s increased responsibilities since the incident.

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A longtime friend of the victim described Lloyd’s actions as “unbelievably irresponsible.”

The incident occurred when Lloyd spotted a deer while returning from a hunting trip in December 2021. Lloyd fired two shots from a .45-caliber handgun.

Instead of a deer, he discovered his neighbor bleeding on the driveway. Lloyd then provided aid and called 911. Investigators later found shell casings 140 yards away from where the victim lay.

In February, Lloyd pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person and unlawfully taking or possessing game. Other charges were dropped. Lloyd’s defense lawyer, Brian Manchester, described the incident as a “physics fluke” and pushed for probation.

Lloyd expressed remorse and apologized multiple times. Post-incident, he sought help, including inpatient psychiatric treatment and regular counseling sessions. He relinquished his firearms to family members and expressed no desire to hunt again.

“It was a terrible, terrible mistake and I wish every day I could take it back. I wish every day I could just not have stepped out of that truck and just kept driving,” Lloyd said. “… I’m just really, really sorry that this happened. If I could take it back, I would give everything I have.”

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  • Big Al 45 June 6, 2023, 2:53 pm

    Dumb, He MUST have known the area, so what was he thinking?????
    It would NEVER cross my mind to shoot at a deer that close to even my own house, much less my neighbors!
    So many safety violations here, I question his ability to handle a gun to begin with.

  • Roger Nichols June 6, 2023, 1:14 pm

    Such careless and cavalier gun handling is a disgrace. Taking that “shot” at 140 yards with a pistol is the height of irresponsibility. Foolishness like that makes life hard on lawful, cautious, trained gun owners. He needs to do the max and have his firearms privileges revoked for life.

  • MB June 6, 2023, 8:48 am

    Wow, taking his hunting licence for 5 years? WTF, he’s now a felon, he can never handle a firearm again. Shooting at a deer from 140 yards away with a .45 pistol is about as stupid as it gets.

  • Harold Williams June 6, 2023, 4:20 am

    All those things he has to do now is called old age hell he is 83. Damn do you think age has got anything to do with it.

    • Dillon June 6, 2023, 4:47 pm

      You are missing the point. This man obviously took very good care of himself for the majority of his life to be able to remain active in his old age. This was a dumb thing to do, and I would not call it a mistake. It is negligence and it makes us hunters and gun owners look bad. Throw the book at him, he is 41 years old, not some kid and should know better than that. Identifying your target and knowing what is behind it is one of the first things shooters and hunters are taught.

      Now this once active 83 year old can no longer do the things in life that he planned and worked all of his life to do. Keeping your body healthy is an investment of time and dedication. The fact that you do not recognize that tells me all I need to know. What a dumb comment.

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