Man Claims Deadly Shooting Was A Hunting Accident

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A Johnson County man claims a deadly shooting was a hunting accident, not murder.

Steven Crum is accused of firing the shot that killed Harrison Butcher last week in Williamsport.

Crum's attorney says his client should not be charged with murder.

Steven Crum says he is sorry. He claims this was only a hunting accident and says he just panicked, but investigators say Crum is still responsible for Butcher's death.

Steven Crum claims he did not mean to kill Harrison Butcher. Crum told investigators he was hunting in Williamsport Sunday the 2nd. He said the sun was in his eyes, but he fired a shot towards an area he thought there were turkeys.

“He heard what sounded to be a human gasping or asking for help, and he panicked, and he left the hillside rather rapidly,” Lt. Tom Wyatt said.

Investigators say the shot hit Butcher who was squirrel hunting.

Crum says he panicked because he is a convicted felon and cannot have a gun.

Crum told investigators he cut-up his shotgun with a hacksaw and threw it in the river, and told his family what happened.

Officers say his wife called 911, but tried to imply Butcher shot himself accidentally. When the Medical Examiner said the bullet did not come from Butcher's gun, Deputies say Crum confessed.

Deputies charged him with murder.

“Very unfair. I think there's no evidence this was murder. He was an ordinary person who got caught in an extraordinary circumstances. He accidentally shot someone. He panicked foolishly,” Attorney Ned Pillersdorf said.

Crum says through his attorney he is sorry.

Butcher's family was in court but were too upset to talk with us.

Now a grand jury will decide if Crum should be charged with murder.

Because this is a wanton murder case, not an intentional murder case, the judge reduced Crum's bond from half a million to one hundred thousand dollars.

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