New York State Conservation Officer James Davey was shot in the pelvic region last fall while investigating reports of illegal hunting activity while crossing a cornfield in Gallatin, New York.
Davey is currently undergoing rehabilitation for his injuries after requiring surgery after the incident. Lt. Liza Bobseine was patrolling with Davey that evening and it was her quick actions in the field that saved the 39-year-old’s life.
The accused, 55-year-old Alan Blanchard, pleaded guilty to accidentally shooting the officer in Columbia County Court last week and is currently awaiting his sentencing hearing at the end of April. He now faces charges of felony second-degree assault and could face upwards of seven years in prison and potentially $5,000 worth of fines.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos is hopeful Blanchard’s conviction will set a firm example of the department’s position on reckless conduct and illegal activity.
“Today, Alan Blanchard is taking responsibility for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he shot Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) James Davey. I commend the work of our ECOs, New York State Police and Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka in helping to bring this case to fruition, and I hope it serves as an example for all that illegal hunting after dusk and careless conduct with firearms will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I also again want to thank Lt. Liza Bobseine, who was on patrol with ECO Davey that evening, and whose swift action in the field, compressing the wound, is credited with saving his life,” Seggos said.
Columbia Country District Attorney affirmed the sentiment of Seggos in his joint statement.
“I want to thank NYSP Sr. Inv. Bill Mulrein and give the highest praise to ECO Davey and Lt. Bobseine. These brave public servants work night and day to enforce the law and protect us all. The people of Columbia County and, in particular, the sportsmen and women of Columbia County, are extremely grateful for their service. We hope that this conviction will deter other irresponsible hunters – an extremely small minority – from similar criminal conduct.”