(VitalNews.org) – In December 2020, Frenchman Julien Feral was hunting for boar near a village in the southwestern part of France, when he shot 25-year-old Morgan Keane outside of his home. The victim, on his own property, was chopping wood at the time when the bullet struck and killed him. News outlets reported that the hunter mistook Keane for a boar.
On January 11, a court in France handed down a verdict on the hunter’s involuntary homicide case. To the dismay of Keane’s family and friends, the French justice system gave the shooter a two-year suspended sentence and barred him from ever hunting again.
A French hunter on Thursday avoided prison over the killing of a Franco-British man he had mistaken for a boar. https://t.co/Bq7VkiGfxh
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 12, 2023
During the hearing, the lawyer for Keane’s younger brother Rowan, described in excruciating detail the victim’s final moments. According to The Guardian, his death was not immediate, and he died alone. Feral also spoke out at his hearing, showing heartfelt remorse at what he’d done. He apologized to the victim’s family, saying he will never forget his mistake.
The shooter wasn’t the only person held accountable in this case, as the person who organized the hunt, Laurent Lapergue, faced consequences too. Unlike Feral, he denied responsibility in court, stating he clearly outlined the hunting rules to the hunters. Still, for his part in the manslaughter, he received 18 months — suspended — and a ban on hunting for five years.
The victim’s loved ones spoke out after the sentencing, indicating they were let down by the court system.
Just before the court concluded the case, President Emmanuel Macron’s administration promised to change the rules surrounding hunting. CBS News reported the government would beef up safety requirements. Last season, the OFB biodiversity authority reported there were eight fatal hunting accidents, but France wants to bring that number to zero.
According to France24, the FNC reported about five million people in France hold a hunting license, while about one-fifth of them are active hunters.
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