photo: Antrim County Sheriff’s Office

Man Charged In Fellow Deer Hunter's Death On First Day Of Firearm Season

January 12, 2019 - 11:17 am

BELLAIRE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - A hunter who authorities say accidentally shot and killed another hunter on the first day of firearm deer season in northern Michigan last year is facing charges.

David Michael Barber, 45, was arraigned this week in 86th District Court on charges including involuntary manslaughter, careless discharge of a firearm causing injury or death, and felony firearm. 

The state Department of Natural Resources said the hunting accident happened Nov. 15 near the Antrim County community of Alden. When conservation officers and EMS arrived on the scene, near the intersection of West Elder Road and Northeast Torch Lake Drive, 38-year-old Justin Beutel was unresponsive. First aid was administered, but Beutel did not recover and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The DNR has said the men were hunting separately and did not know each other.

Barber told authorities he thought he was shooting at a deer, The Traverse City Record Eagle reported. 

Barber's lawyer Daniel Hartman offered "condolences to the family."

Barber was released after posting a $25,000/10 percent bond. He's due back in court for a probable cause conference on Jan. 16 and a preliminary exam on Jan. 23.

If convicted as charged, Barber faces 15 years in prison. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.