JOHNSTOWN-An Ephratah man who had been accused of recklessly shooting another man while hunting wild turkey was found innocent Wednesday at a trial in Fulton County Court.
Richard A. Paddon Jr. was found not guilty of third-degree assault. Another charge, third-degree reckless endangerment, was dropped by County Judge Richard C. Giardino.
Paddon was indicted by a grand jury in April on charges that he accidentally shot Dale S. Gray Jr. while hunting wild turkey in an open field at 162 Hill Road in Ephratah on May 14, 2011.
Police said Paddon fired a 12-gauge shotgun and struck Gray in the back and head.
The trial jury deliberated for more than five hours, according to Assistant District Attorney Amanda Nellis.
Schenectady attorney Michael T. Horan, who defended Paddon, said he and his client were pleased with the verdict.
"The jury did a good job looking at the evidence,"?Horan said today. "At the end, they agreed it was an accident - it certainly was an unfortunate incident."