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Hunting death brings charges

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo.-- A year after a hunter shot and killed their son, Vonda and Danny Knell are angry about the ensuing investigation that has now produced a misdemeanor charge against the shooter.

David McQuinley, 18, was shot in the chest at dusk on Nov. 10, 2000, by his friend's father. William Ludlow Jr., who was charged Thursday in LaClede County with third-degree assault, told investigators he mistook McQuinley for a wild pig rustling through dense brush.

Ludlow said he was not impaired by the three beers he had that day.

The Knells wonder why it took a year for charges to be brought, why there was no autopsy and why killing someone while hunting is not a serious crime.

"If you kill somebody with a car, they can call it reckless and charge you with manslaughter," Vonda Knell, McQuinley's mother, said. "You kill a person with a gun, and it's an accident?"

Ludlow is scheduled in LaClede County Court on Dec. 3 for the assault charge, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. County prosecutor John Morris declined to comment.


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