6/26/2019

A Tioga County man pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide earlier this week in County Court for shooting his neighbor in a deer-hunting incident in December.

Dean A. Brockoff, 54, of Lockwood, pleaded guilty in Tioga County Court to the Class E felony before Judge Gerald Keene on Monday evening. He admitted that on Dec 9 he was hunting at 7 a.m. before legal sunrise and fired a shot at some movement without identifying his target. He fired his Winchester bolt-action, 30.06 rifle, hitting David Barden, 73, in the torso, according to District Attorney Kirk Martin, who prosecuted the case.

The incident took place on private property off Miller Road in Lockwood. According to state deer hunting regulations, hunters are not allowed to shoot before sunrise. Sunrise that day in Tioga County was 7:21 a.m.

Brockoff and Barden were hunting independently of each other at the time. Martin said Barden had a blaze orange hat with him, but it was not clear he was wearing it at the time he was shot.

Following his plea, Brockoff was sentenced to six months in county jail, five years supervised probation and 512 hours of community service. The court also issued an order of protection against Brockoff to stay away from Barden’s wife. He will be ineligible to receive a certificate or waiver of relief to possess a firearm, Martin said.

Martin prosecuted the case following an investigation by DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI). DEC investigator Robert Johnson, DEC Lt. Chris Didion, DEC Captain Jesse Paluch, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police participated in the investigation.

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