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Hearing rescheduled for pair accused of spotlighting deer

Published August 24. 2012 05:02PM

A pair of Palmerton men accused of endangering wildlife must await their day in court.

Kory Christman, 33, and Thomas Shupp, 42, of Palmerton, were scheduled to have preliminary hearings Wednesday before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.

But, their hearings were rescheduled. No new date has yet to be determined.

The two men face charges of recklessly endangering another person; unlawful killing or taking big game; unlawful use of lights while hunting; loaded firearms in vehicles; unlawful devices and methods; restrictions on recreational spotlighting; and littering and restrictions on vehicles.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Frederick M. Merluzzi of the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

On Sept. 19, 2011, Merluzzi received information from Pennsylvania State Police Trooper McDonald of an incident that occurred on Sept. 3 of that year, according to the affidavit.

Merluzzi interviewed the two witness's to verify the information, and started the investigation, the affidavit says.

The witnesses are both involved in a local gun club, the husband as the president and the wife who helps at all the events.

On or about Sept. 3, 2011, at 11:57 p.m., the witnesses said they observed a pick-up truck, dark gray/silver in color, spotlighting deer that were in a field.

The suspect's truck was on Stagecoach Road, just west of Church Road. The witnesses observed many deer in the field.

They then observed flames come from the passenger side of the truck, heard the shot, the deer take off, and the truck leave the roadway and drive into the field.

The witnesses then drove their vehicle into the field to get a license number from the truck, but the truck took off and the witnesses followed.

While the witnesses were following the truck, the passenger in the truck was attempting to blind the witness's with the spotlight.

The dark gray/silver truck finally pulled over, and the witness's pulled their vehicle in front of the truck to prevent it from leaving the scene.

The passenger from the dark gray/silver truck got out, jacked a round into his rifle and confronted the witness while holding his rifle at port arms.

The witnesses then identified the defendant as Christman, who happens to be a member of the same gun club.

Christman cursed at the witness, and told him they weren't his deer, and to leave them alone.

When the witness' wife saw Christman get out of the passenger side with a rifle, she started to blow the horn. The people, who's home the truck had stopped in front of, came out, and they also identified Christman.

The witnesses got the license number from the truck, and described it in great detail. The witness's also observed all the actions described in this affidavit.

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