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Suspect arrested in turkey hunting incident

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A turkey hunting incident in Wayne County left one hunter injured and a second in jail.

Natural Resources Police said Wayne Williamson Jr, 24, of Genoa, W.Va. suffered shotgun wounds around 1 p.m. Monday while hunting in the Genoa community. Williamson had wounds to his face and ribs and remained hospitalized Thursday. Authorities said he was in stable, but good condition.

Investigators with DNR law enforcement developed information which led them to a suspect Wednesday. Stevie Jackson, 63, of Genoa was arrested and charged with an array of crimes associated with the incident. He was arraigned on two felony counts of failure to render aid and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The Natural Resources Police also charged him with three misdemeanors. Those included negligent shooting with injury, hunting without a license, and hunting without written permission.

The incident happened close to 1 p.m. which is the deadline for hunters to be out of the woods from spring gobbler hunting. According to investigators there was no evidence that either the victim or the shooter violated the time law. The incident happened not far from a county road and both appeared to be headed out of the woods for the day just before 1:00.

Investigators were able to track down the suspect with information from relatives along with the agency’s new canine division.

“The dog was instrument in helping locate the suspect and components of the actual shooting scene like the wadding of the shotgun shell and some turkey calls,” said Captain Dwayne Duffield of the Natural Resources Police.

It’s the first hunting incident in West Virginia in 2024 and generally the number of hunting related incidents in recent years has drastically decreased from years ago. Duffield credited the reduction to years of Hunter Education classes.

“I think that’s where the majority of it comes from, in those hunter safety classes in the spring and fall. Much of that can be attributed to our volunteer hunter safety instructors. We have a lot of volunteers who help great things happen in this state. Their reward comes from the lack of hunting incidents you don’t see on the news anymore,” he said.

Jackson is lodged in the Western Regional Jail in lieu of $203,000 bond.

The West Virginia spring gobbler season runs through May 19.

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