Hunter Who Shot And Killed Neighbor He Thought Was A Deer Charged With Manslaughter

“I know the families and most of the people that know these people ... It’s a small town — and they’re struggling right now.”

By Eric Shorey

Thomas B. Jadlowski faces manslughter charges and is accused of hunting after legal hours following the killing of his neighbor, Rosemary Billquist (pictured above), who he shot. Jadlowski claims he mistook Billquist for a deer.

According to The New York Times, Billquist had been walking her dogs near her Sherman, New York home shortly after sundown. Her husband, Jamie Billquist, remembered seeing his labrador retrievers run back to the house without her, barking with urgency.

“They obviously knew something happened,” said Jamie. “And I’m thinking to myself, ‘This isn’t right.’”

When they announced the charges, police reiterated that Jadlowski did not intend to cause harm to Billquist. Billquist's killing was described by a sheriff as “reckless” — it is illegal to hunt after sunset.

The small town of Sherman has been openly horrified by the death, knowing the two had been acquaintances: “I know the families and most of the people that know these people,” said Chautauqua County district attorney, Patrick Swanson, who attended the same high school as Jamie Billquist. “It’s a small town — and they’re struggling right now.”

“I hope this sends a loud and clear message that illegal hunting after sunset is dangerous and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Basil Seggos, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Jadlowski has pleaded not guilty to the charges, for which he could face up to 15 years in prison. 

His bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property. He is due back in court on Januarry 29, 2018.

Jadlowski's lawyers have not commented on the case.

[Photo: Chautauqua County Sheriff Office]

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