BANGOR, Maine — A North Anson man who shot a friend while deer hunting more than two years ago was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to three years of probation for federal gun offenses.
Russell E. Booker, 42, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to two counts of possession of firearms after being convicted of a crime of domestic violence.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also ordered Booker to pay a $1,000 fine.
The charges stemmed from an incident on Nov. 28, 2006, when Booker allegedly accidentally shot Dwayne Pullen, 40, of North Anson through the abdomen with a .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle. Pullen survived the hunting accident, according to court documents. The shooting occurred the week after the end of regular hunting season when using muzzleloaders is permitted.
During its investigation into the shooting, the Maine Warden Service learned that Booker was prohibited from possessing guns because of a 1998 misdemeanor conviction in Somerset County for assaulting his then-wife.
Booker faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore, who prosecuted the case, urged Woodcock to send the defendant to prison for at least three years because of his criminal history and the fact that he had seven rifles at his home.
Federal Public Defender Virginia Villa argued that Booker should be sentenced to probation because the guns in his possession were used only for hunting.
As a result of the shooting, Booker was indicted by the Somerset County grand jury on charges of reckless conduct and assault while hunting, according to an article published on Feb. 27, 2007, in the Kennebec Journal. The charges are pending in Somerset County Superior Court, according to the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office.
Booker agreed to plead guilty to assault while hunting after his federal case was resolved, according to documents filed in federal court.