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Two hunters not guilty of aiming gun at woman
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MONROE - A jury found two hunters not guilty of criminal negligence and intentionally pointing a firearm at a person Friday after a two-day trial in Green County Circuit Court.

The case stemmed from an incident Nov. 29, 2013, when Christopher R. Wuebben, 40, Monroe, and Travis B. Weissenfluh, 35, Madison, fired at deer in an open field south of County K in the Town of Jefferson.

According to court records, the shots missed but came dangerously close to hitting a Jefferson woman in an adjacent field. The hunters also reportedly aimed directly at a man operating a fertilizer spreader in the same field.

The hunters' attorney, Gregory Knoke, said the incident was nobody's fault but the result of "the stars and planets aligning."

Green County District Attorney Gary Luhman said the two hunters failed to properly assess their surroundings and were therefore negligent.

Knoke countered that it was "improbable" that they could have seen the woman, who was wearing gray and brown, from more than 200 yards away.

The woman testified that she was visiting her family over the Thanksgiving weekend and didn't take precautions by wearing blaze orange when she went outside to walk her dogs because she didn't know it was deer-hunting season.

But Weissenfluh and Wuebben "didn't create the risk," Knoke said, pointing to testimony from the operator of the fertilizer spreader, who said he was uncertain of the relative positions of the hunters, the woman and himself. The operator also conceded under questioning from Luhman that he thought the hunters were shooting at the deer, not at himself or the woman.

Because of this, Knoke said, it could not be reasonably inferred that the hunters intentionally aimed at the operator.

"This was a perfect storm," Knoke said. "Thank goodness it didn't create a worse situation."

After two days of testimony and 34 minutes of deliberation, the jury found both Weissenfluh and Wuebben not guilty of either charge.