A Waterville woman who shot her husband while turkey hunting in China in May has been charged with a misdemeanor count of assault by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office.

Janice Jacques, 58, shot her husband, Reginald Jacques, 60, in the face and arm while hunting in a wooded area near Danforth Road the morning of May 5. Reginald Jacques was hospitalized at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta after the shooting, but his wounds were not life-threatening.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Jacques did not intend to shoot her husband, but the accidental shooting still carries charges.

One count of assault while hunting was filed by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s office against Janice Jacques on Thursday, Maloney said Monday. Jacques is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 21.

Maine state law considers a person guilty of assault while hunting if that person “with criminal negligence, causes bodily injury to another with the use of a dangerous weapon” while in pursuit of wild game.

“Assault while hunting is a very straightforward statute,” Maloney said.

Assault while hunting is a class D charge that is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Maloney said she will not seek jail time in the case. Jacques was issued a court summons but was not arrested, Maloney added.

“This is a law that was passed by the Legislature. I’m sworn to uphold the law and this law was broken,” Maloney said.

“I understand this is not what she intended to do, but the statute doesn’t demand intent,” Maloney said.

At the time of the shooting, Maine Warden Service spokesman Cpl. John MacDonald said it wasn’t clear what Jacques was aiming at when she fired the gun, and investigators were trying to piece together what happened.

 

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