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Lincoln Area Man to Serve 30 Days for Hunting Accident 

Catherine Pegram

A man involved in a hunting accident in Chester that caused his friend to lose an eye is going to jail for 30 days.29-year-old Joel Susen pleaded no contest to assault while hunting.He did so in a courtroom in Bangor packed with family, friends and church members who argued Susen shouldn’t have to serve any time. “Ever since it happened, I’ve thought about it every day, almost hourly.”Joel Susen says he’ll live with the guilt and shame of shooting his friend in the face during a turkey hunting accident last May for the rest of his life. Susen told authorities he thought 30-year-old Adam Jewell was signaling him to shoot a bird while they were in the woods in Chester. Jewell lost his right eye and still has shrapnel in his body. Kim Susen, Joel’s wife, said in court, “For Joel to know that he can’t ever give Adam his eye back has been one of the cruelest realities we face. Words cannot ever begin to adequately express Joel’s remorse or brokenness over this complete nightmare.”Susen’s lawyer, Don Brown, argued for no jail time for his client.”I struggle to understand how a jail sentence can deter something that’s classified as an accident and this clearly was an accident. Adam Jewell is hurt seriously and that’s something Joel and Adam will have to live with forever.”Jewell wasn’t in court but in a statement said he’s not sure people truly understood how close to death he came and that it was a miracle that saved him. Jewell didn’t believe Susen should get away without time in jail – and neither did prosecutors or the Maine Warden Service. Penobscot County Assistant District Attorney Maggie Gray said, “What we tried to accomplish here is sending a message with that the public can feel free to walk outside and bird hunt, look at birds, talk a walk, whatever and know that they’re going to be safe. That hunters out there are going to identify their targets before they fire.”Captain Dan Scott with the Maine Warden Service said, “There’s really no victories or winners here. But we do need to hold people accountable when they are negligent. And it can’t be acceptable to go hunting and shoot somebody.”Susen was also ordered to serve 40 hours of community service, speaking to groups and organizations about hunting safety.He said, “I just beg and pray that everyone who’s been affected by this, especially Adam, could one day find it in their heart to forgive me.”