PARIS — Bail was set at $2,500 cash Wednesday for the hunter charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a Hebron woman on the opening day of deer season for Maine residents.

Robert Trundy, 38, of Hebron is charged with shooting Karen Wrentzel, 34, who died on her property near 490 Greenwood Mountain Road after being shot at about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 28.

Karen Wretzel, 34, of Hebron, was killed on Saturday in a hunting incident while on her own property. Jon Spofford photo

Trundy said he could see what looked like a deer “with a tail, skinny legs and a possible glimpse of what he thought could have been part of a head or antler of a deer,” according to a statement by District Game Warden Anthony Gray.

Trundy’s target screamed after he fired the shot. (Trundy) “thought to himself, ‘deer don’t do that,’ ” according to the warden’s affidavit.

Trundy had walked about three-quarters of the way to Wrentzel when he saw a rake leaning against a rock. At that point, according to the affidavit, Trundy suspected he had shot someone, but he couldn’t bring himself to walk the rest of the way to Wrentzel.

“Honestly, I couldn’t go down there,” he told Gray. “If I don’t see it, it’s out of my mind.”

Wrentzel’s uncle, Jon Spofford, said in an interview Wednesday that Trundy “must be held accountable for his careless decisions, and his refusal to take proper steps throughout the incident, despite any emotions he may have felt about his actions.”

Spofford said Trundy “displayed a total lack of regard for any human life beyond his own. I cannot forgive the taking of Karen’s life, when time after time, Robert Trundy failed to meet the requirements of a hunter.”

The affidavit said Trundy did not clearly identify his target as a deer before firing.

“There are rules for the road and there are rules for the woods,” Wrentzel’s mother’s cousin, Joan Joy Tibbetts, wrote in a Facebook post. “This man Trundy did not follow the rules, and the result is, he killed Karen.”

“He didn’t have a line of sight,” Tibbetts added. “I would like to see the situation improve, so that deer are the only thing getting shot during hunting season, and truth be told, the change has to be made by the person holding the gun, not the person doing laundry, hanging out by the barn, or digging for rocks.”

Beverly Spofford breaks down after talking with the media about the shooting death of her granddaughter, Karen Wrentzel, at Oxford County Superior Courthouse in Paris on Wednesday. Sun Journal/Daryn Slover

Scott Lynch, Trundy’s attorney, said after the hearing that his client will plead not guilty, and that Lynch is in the process of “gathering information.”

“We believe that the affidavit submitted along with the complaint is an incomplete account of what happened and somewhat of a false narrative about the assistance that was rendered or not,” Lynch said.

He added that he was “not concerned about the statutory elements of the manslaughter charge, with respect to the hunting charge, because I think we’ll be able to demonstrate, with experts, what my client thought he saw.”

Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis said the state hopes to present the case to a grand jury in December.

Beverly Spofford, Wrentzel’s grandmother, said after the hearing that she was “very angry.”

“He heard her scream,” Spofford said. “The affidavit says all this. Why didn’t he go down there and say, ‘I’m sorry,’ or something?”

She said she didn’t know whether anything would have been different if he had administered aid to Wrentzel.

“He took away my granddaughter,” Spofford said.

Bail conditions for Trundy include no use or possession of firearms, bows or other dangerous weapons, no hunting, and no contact with witnesses in the case.

Superior Court Justice Lance Walker also ruled that Trundy had 48 hours to report to the Oxford County Jail to have a booking photo and his fingerprints taken, and that he was prohibited from leaving Maine without Ellis’ permission.

Sun Journal Staff Writer Matthew Daigle can be contacted at:

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