Newcomerstown man writes apology to Ohio sportsmen

CAMBRIDGE -- As part of a recent court sentencing for the crime of spotlighting deer from a motor vehicle, a Tuscarawas County man has composed an apology to Ohio's sportsmen according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Andrew T. Thompson, 22, of Newcomerstown, stated in his letter that he "put many people's lives at risk" on Nov. 20, 2008, as he and two other adults engaged in spotlighting deer from his vehicle in Guernsey County. When wildlife officials initiated contact with Thompson, he attempted to flee the officers.

Thompson pled no contest and was found guilty of two felony counts including Attempted Fleeing and Eluding and Improper Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle. Thompson was also found guilty of spotlighting deer and possession of untagged deer parts.

In addition to the letter of apology, the Honorable Judge David A. Ellwood presiding over the Guernsey County Common Pleas Court sentenced Thompson to serve six months of a ten month prison sentence, three years revocation of both driver's and hunting licenses, and three years of probation plus pay $500 in fines and court costs. Thompson's vehicle and rifle were ordered forfeit.

The two other adults in the vehicle were also found guilty of wildlife related crimes. Jesse W. Thompson, Jr., 31, of West Lafayette, was found guilty of spotlighting and improper transport of a firearm. Thompson Jr. will pay $500 in fines and court costs and his rifle was ordered forfeit. His hunting license was ordered suspended for three years.

Ernest W. Thompson, 36, also of Newcomerstown, was found guilty of spotlighting and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. Ernest will pay $500 in fines and court costs and his rifle was ordered forfeit. His hunting license was ordered suspended for three years.