Safety instructor gets jail in fatal shooting of teen hunter

HART, Mich. (AP) — A hunter safety instructor charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy while they were squirrel hunting in western Michigan has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Roger Hoeker of Jenison learned his punishment Monday after pleading no contest to careless discharge of a firearm resulting in injury or death. A June trial ended in a mistrial .

Police say Hoeker shot William “Billy” Gort Jr. of Wyoming, Michigan, in the head during a Feb., 18, 2017, hunting trip with a friend and Hoeker, a mentor for a youth outreach program. Hoeker told investigators that the bullet ricocheted off a tree.

Hoeker’s attorney offered an apology.

Hoeker was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter . A judge sent the case to trial on a lesser charge, reckless discharge of a firearm.

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