Trial date set for French hunter after man shot dead in garden

The hunter will be tried for involuntary homicide along with the person who organised the hunt on that day

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The hunter who accidentally killed 25-year-old Lot resident Morgan Keane in his garden nearly two years ago will appear before a court in November along with the organiser of the hunt.

Mr Keane was chopping wood on his property, 100 metres from his house in Calvignac, Lot, on December 2, 2020, when he was killed by a stray bullet fired by the hunter.

Alexandre Rossi, the local public prosecutor, announced on September 27 that: “With relation to the fatal hunting accident that occurred during a wild boar hunt in Calvignac on December 2, 2020, which cost the life of Mr Morgan Keane, a trial will begin on November 17, 2022 at 08:30.”

He added that this trial was made possible by a reconstruction of the events and several witness testimonies, which led to two people being charged.

Both will appear before the Cahors court, accused of involuntary homicide during a hunt, which is punishable by three years in prison, a €75,000 fine, a five-year ban on possessing a firearm and the permanent withdrawal of one’s hunting permit.

Read more: ‘Our friend was killed by French hunter, stricter controls are vital’

Prosecution lawyer Benoît Coussy, has said that “a certain number of factual elements attest that the hunter who shot [the bullet] may have been made perfectly aware by his fellow hunters of the presence of two boys [Mr Keane and his brother Rowan] in the two hours preceding the tragedy.”

Mr Keane’s death provoked outrage across France, with a march organised in his honour and a group of his friends launching a petition – ‘Un jour, un chasseur’ – calling for stricter safety rules and two hunt-free days a week.

Read more: Hundreds join march in honour of French man shot by hunter

Read more: Friends of man killed by hunters fight to change French law

This petition gained the 100,000 signatures needed for a Senate debate on the issue, and 40 different audiences with organisations and individuals have been held over this year.

A report relating to these testimonies was published this month, with recommendations to improve training practices and more effectively prevent people from hunting while inebriated.

However, the Un jour, un chasseur group has criticised the report, saying that it dismisses almost all of the measures demanded in the original petition, even though they are “supported by an immense majority of people in rural settings”.

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