June 2, 2018

From StarBeacon.com

A Conneaut man charged in the November death of a Florida deer hunter will be arraigned next week in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court, officials said.

Darrell A. Shepard, 41, is scheduled to appear before Judge Marianne Sezon at 1 p.m. Monday. Last month, an Ashtabula County grand jury indicted Shepard on numerous charges related to the Nov. 27 death of Randy Gozzard, 62, of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Gozzard was one of four members of a party hunting on property at the end of Horton Road, just inside the Monroe Township line. He was shot and killed at about 12:40 p.m., according to a statement from Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci.

According to Iarocci, Shepard was hunting illegally in the area of Gozzard “and fired shots in the vicinity of Mr. Gozzard.”

On Dec. 18, county sheriff’s deputies looking for Shepard because he had failed to attend a hearing on an unrelated criminal case found him in Pierpont Township. He was arrested and several weapons in the residence were seized, Iarocci said.

“Mr. Shepard was not permitted to be in possession of any firearms, both on the dates of the shooting and his arrest,” according to the statement.

After that arrest, Shepard told authorities he had been hunting in the area of Gozzard at the time the man was killed, discovered the body and did not report the death, according to the statement. A shotgun Shepard said he fired at the time was analyzed and found to match a 12-gauge shell found at the shooting scene.

Shepard has been charged with:

  • One count of involuntary manslaughter (first-degree felony)
  • Two counts of involuntary manslaughter (each a third-degree felony)
  • Two counts of having weapons under disability (each a third-degree felony)
  • One count of injuring persons or property while hunting (first-degree misdemeanor)
  • ;One count of hunting without permission (third-degree misdemeanor)
  • One count of failure to report knowledge of a death (fourth-degree misdemeanor)


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