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November 14, 2012

Hunters claim harassment while on Starks land owned by shooting victim

Party claims they were threatened by an acquaintance of Kerry Hebert, 56, who was shot about two weeks ago while confronting a hunting party

By Rachel Ohm
Staff Writer

STARKS -- A group of hunters reported Wednesday that they were threatened near where a man was shot recently in a dispute with another hunting party.

click image to enlarge

Kerry Hebert at the Starks Town Meeting in 2007.

Staff file photo

Police said the hunters who reported the threatening were walking back to their vehicle Saturday along Mount Hunger Road after hunting.

They reported that they were confronted by an acquaintance of Kerry Hebert, the 56-year-old man who owns the property along the road and was shot about two weeks ago, said Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster, of the Somerset County Sheriff's Department.

The incident, Lancaster said, had to do with hunting on the property that Hebert owns on Mount Hunger Road.

Lancaster said that although the incident occurred Saturday, it was not reported by the hunting party, a group from Madison, until Wednesday, and there would be no criminal charges.

"We were called in after the fact to make us aware of what was going on in the area and make sure there was no criminal activity," Lancaster said. "There was a conversation on the Mount Hunger Road, but it was resolved."

Lancaster said the dirt road is open to the public and not a private driveway, although the Hebert family has the only house on it.

"Until it has the title of a private driveway, the public still has access to that road," he said.

Hebert said he didn't know anything about the weekend incident and had no other comment about it than "I haven't left the house."

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the Oct. 31 shooting incident that injured Hebert, and no charges have been filed, Lancaster said.

According to a family friend, Erin Norton, who was with Hebert at the hospital the night he was shot, Hebert was driving home and stopped to speak to some hunters on his property on Mount Hunger Road. One of the hunters allegedly butted him with a gun and shot him, she said.

Lancaster said that forensic material has been sent to the state police crime laboratory in Augusta and that they are still waiting for results.

He also said police have conducted interviews with Hebert both at the hospital and at his home.

"When you have an incident where multiple people are involved, there are varying stories as people perceive them," Lancaster said.

Hebert's recovery from the shooting continues and his health is improving. Thursday, he will have outpatient surgery, his third since the incident, he said.

"It will be a long process, but I will recover," he said.

He declined to talk about the shooting two weeks ago.

"I've talked with police and am not going to discuss what happened. It is an ongoing investigation, and I'm not going to make any public statements that might jeopardize the investigation," he said Tuesday from his home.

Rachel Ohm -- 612-2368

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