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Police won’t charge son in fatal shooting of father while hunting

2012-12-06T17:00:00Z 2012-12-07T11:41:58Z Police won’t charge son in fatal shooting of father while huntingDON LEHMAN - dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
December 06, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

CHESTER -- The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has decided not to file criminal charges in the Saturday morning fatal shooting of a hunter, a shooting that police confirmed Thursday occurred when a son shot his father.

Whether any criminal charges will be filed in the death of Terry S. Lavergne, 53, of Warrensburg will be left up to whether the Warren County District Attorney’s Office wants to pursue a grand jury investigation, Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree said.

Police determined Lavergne was shot by his son, James Lavergne, 28, of Glens Falls. Another of the victim’s sons, Philip Lavergne, 22, of Queensbury, was hunting with his sibling and father, police said.

“Considering the circumstances of the incident, we’re not going to make a summary arrest and we felt it would be best to leave it up to the district attorney to take to the grand jury,” Lamouree said.

District Attorney Kate Hogan could not be reached for comment Thursday, but said Wednesday that her office was still reviewing statements and the 5 hours of videotaped police questioning of the alleged shooter and would determine after the review how to proceed.

The shooting happened just before 8:30 a.m. in woods off Fawn Ridge Road in Chester, a remote area of mixed state and private land near Potter Brook Road.

The three men were in a drive, trying to push deer out of cover during the last weekend of rifle hunting for deer in the Northern Zone.

Terry Lavergne was killed by a shot from a .308-caliber rifle that hit him in the torso, a shot fired by a gun equipped with a scope. The shot hit his femoral artery.

James Lavergne was on higher ground than his father, and his father was in brush wearing full camouflage clothing.

Police have not said how he came to fire into the brush and whether he mistook his father for a deer, but acknowledged that Terry Lavergne’s sons believed he was in a different area than where he was shot.

The Sheriff’s Office and state Department of Environmental Conservation investigated the shooting. The DEC said all three men had hunting licenses.

Police had not released the names of the two men who were with Terry Lavergne until Thursday as the investigation continued.

“It’s obviously a tragedy all around,” Lamouree said.

Funeral services were scheduled for Terry Lavergne at 7 p.m. today (Friday) at Alexander Funeral Home in Warrensburg. Calling hours are to be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. CoffeeAnyone
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    CoffeeAnyone - December 11, 2012 3:42 pm
    I believe he will already be paying for the rest of his life, unfortunately accidents do happen, not everything can be prevented.....it's called human error.....happens in operating rooms, flight control rooms, driving, workplaces, etc. Unfortunately human error can have dire consequences as this did. Had there been prior domestic dispute calls on this family or prior feud between father & son or he used mind altering drugs & then picked up a gun, then I would probably feel differently! Should there be some type of charge....maybe but Murder? Absolutely NO! My thoughts are with this family-all of them! May Terry rest in peace and my wish for this family is that they find some comfort from friends & peace in the memories of the times they shared with him.
  2. LGR
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    LGR - December 11, 2012 9:29 am
    "Considering the circumstances of the incident, we’re not going to make a summary arrest and we felt it would be best to leave it up to the district attorney to take to the grand jury,” Lamouree said. Can someone remind me why we have a sheriff's office?? What is Buhd's position in all this? Why not just have the DA investigators handle these incidents and cut out the duplication of services??
  3. golfer
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    golfer - December 11, 2012 6:46 am
    How many spikes "antlers" did this deer have ?? Accident ?? No..Neglect !!
  4. everettj
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    everettj - December 09, 2012 11:51 pm
    A facet of this tragedy that has not been reported but certainly may have been a factor in the Sheriff's Dept.'s decision to hand-off to the DA in this matter: the shooter's half-brother is an active Warren County Sheriff's Patrol Officer and the victim is the Officer's birth father. The patrol officer in question was known as Terry LaVerge Jr. when he attended Warrensburg Central.
  5. homegirlovescoffee
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    homegirlovescoffee - December 09, 2012 2:30 am
    What about over population in people?
  6. cadman
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    cadman - December 08, 2012 11:10 pm
    I'm a little confused on this one.A person, regardless of affiliation with another, can go out in the woods, shoot another person, say it was an accident, and not be charged with anything by the sheriff's dep't.In my opinion this send a very disturbing message to people out there who would consider using this as a way to commit murder.All you have to say is "I didn't see them" or "I thought it was a deer" and you can get away with murder.Let's hope our Warren County DA, an elected official, makes the right decision here and at a minimum charges this man with reckless endangerment, although if I were her, it would be murder, no ifs, ans or buts.Oh, I'm sure this man feels terrible,after all, he killed his father, but that doesn't change he fact he pointed a scoped rifle at another human being and killed him, cut and dry.Let's not forget, at this time of year there are very few, if any, leaves on trees and bushes so even at 200 yards, you should still be able to tell the difference.
  7. Dave
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    Dave - December 08, 2012 10:24 pm
    NYYANKEE CALLS IT WELL. ONLY POINT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD IS WHEN HUNTING GET RID OF THE CAMO CLOTHING AND WEAR SAFETY ORANGE. THE DEER REALLY DONT CARE WHAT COLOR YOU WEAR.
  8. Jim Carroll
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    Jim Carroll - December 07, 2012 8:36 pm
    How very sad. Terry & I were really close friends in high school along with his Brother Todd but lost touch when I moved out to Washington State. My sympathies go out to his family & friends. I was just things about him & others just a few weeks ago. Very sad........
  9. jliapes
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    jliapes - December 07, 2012 3:53 pm
    my heart aches for the lavergne family. a devastating tragedy for you all. my sincere sympathy and god bless. jackie l. xxxooo
  10. LovinADK
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    LovinADK - December 07, 2012 1:18 pm
    Good idea! Let's stop eating meat too! Oh wait, but then if we're all vegetarians we would be killing the plants, right? That's just too cruel!
  11. rdc
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    rdc - December 07, 2012 12:39 pm
    I disagree - DON'T shoot at a sound. EVER.

  12. nyyankee
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    nyyankee - December 07, 2012 12:04 pm
    Ok, let's stop all hunting today. In 5 years deer herds would grow to a level, that mass starvation would occur every winter. A slow lingering death for thousands of deer every year! Deer-car accidents would be a common thing, injuring and killing many more people than hunting could ever do! That young man showed incredibly poor judgement. Hunters take it on faith that their fellow hunter will identify their target before sending that bullet. Anything less is criminally negligent in my opinion. I feel bad for the young man and his family, but that death was easily preventable. To suggest ending all hunting shows the ignorance of some people and is based on emotion. Hunters provide a service in thinning deer herds to healthy and well fed levels. There's only one natural deer predator in NY, coyotes, and there are not nearly enough of them to thin herds to a manageable level. It's up to hunters to provide the balance and to prevent over-population. That's the reality of it....
  13. sag
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    sag - December 07, 2012 11:27 am
    Excellent commandments all ... I would add that if one hears something in the bushes to call out to others in one's party before firing. Again, thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family. Very sad.
  14. DARLENE
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    DARLENE - December 07, 2012 8:41 am
    Ten Commandments of Hunting Safety

    Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.
    Control the direction of your firearm's muzzle.
    Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
    Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
    Unload firearms when not in use.
    Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
    Never climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm.
    Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.
    Store firearms and ammunition separately.
    Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before or while shooting.
  15. newshound
    Report Abuse
    newshound - December 07, 2012 4:21 am
    i think its sad when anything dies when folks hunt...not just a man...i wish people would stop killing things...if they weren't hunting ..he would be alive. if you love nature..go in the woods with your camera.
  16. timmy55555
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    timmy55555 - December 06, 2012 6:19 pm
    you may want to figure out what you are shooting at before you fire. just because something moves in the bushes, doesn't mean it is a buck. it is a tragedy, but people need to use some common sense

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