Assault over deer ends in jail term Glen Burnie resident gets 60 days for fighting with hunter over antlers

July 23, 1996|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Charles Weaver wanted a deer so badly he broke another man's jaw for it. But he landed a jail sentence -- not the antlers.

The 24-year-old Glen Burnie resident will spend 60 days in the Howard County Detention Center and pay fellow hunter Edward Sanders $1,781 to cover medical costs sustained in the Nov. 27 assault, a Howard County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday.

He will be released every day to go to his job as a mechanic.

Weaver -- convicted of assault and battery in April for breaking Sanders' jaw with a rifle butt and cracking two vertebrae in his back during the incident -- has learned his lesson, said Weaver's lawyer, Gary Bernstein.

"If he is hunting deer in the future and there is a dispute, he's going to walk away, no matter how big the rack is," Bernstein said. "His position will be, 'God bless you, it's yours.' "

The dispute between the two began in the early morning hours that November day, when both men were hunting at former state Sen. James Clark Jr.'s 548-acre farm in Ellicott City. Both fired at a prize buck, and each believed himself to be the slayer.

The two had hoped to have Clark resolve the matter in a Solomon-like manner. But the senator was not home, and the two began a tug of war with the deer's antlers, each trying to pull the deer toward his own truck, according to testimony.

Weaver then beat Sanders with his rifle butt and stomped on his back. But before Weaver could leave with the beast, the bloodied Sanders threw himself on top of the deer's carcass, according to testimony.

No one knows what happened to the deer after that. Court testimony shed little light on the issue.

Yesterday, Clark, who tells hunters where to shoot within a 50-acre section of his farm, said Sanders had been hunting in the wrong area and had overlapped onto territory that had been assigned to Weaver.

"The fellow who got hurt went way out of bounds," Clark said. "Of course, that doesn't excuse the guy from hitting him like he did. He will think a long time before he hits anybody else."

Clark said he still allows hunters to shoot on his property and has not had a repeat incident.

Weaver will be out of jail in time for deer season in November.

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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