- Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018

HART, Mich. (AP) - A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a 63-year-old hunter safety instructor charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy squirrel hunting in western Michigan.

Oceana County Circuit Judge Robert Springstead halted the trial of Roger Hoeker on Thursday. The judge determined neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys knew of a sheriff’s report about the Feb., 18, 2017, shooting.

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

Police say William “Billy” Gort Jr. of Wyoming was shot in the head during a hunting trip with a friend and Hoeker, a mentor for a youth outreach program.

Hoeker’s attorneys requested the mistrial. A second trial will be scheduled.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide