MAYVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Rosemary Billquist was shot and killed the day before Thanksgiving, 2017. She was killed by a hunter who said it was an accident. The hunter said he thought Billquist was a deer.
Billquist was walking her dog in the Town of Sherman when she was shot.
In Chautauqua County Court Monday, the hunter, Thomas Jadlowski, was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years behind bars.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson commented after Jadlowski's sentencing, saying this sentence came after many meetings with the Billquist family. "The one word he (Jamie Billquist, Rosemany's husband) kept using was accountability. He wanted him to be accountable. That came with some prison time," says Swanson. He went on to talk about how Jadlowski's attorney read a statement to the Billquist family, saying, "My impression was the defendant wasn't capable of speaking, I think he was that broken up. I believe he the family heard the apology, I believe they accepted it. It's time for them to close a dark chapter in their lives."
He pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in October.
The bullet struck Billquist in her hip. Jadowski heard her cry, found Billquist and called 911. Billquist later died at the hospital.
Jadlowski was originally charged with second-degree manslaughter, a charge that carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. A Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment against Jadlowski alleging Manslaughter and Hunting After Hours earlier this year.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued this statement on the sentencing:
“Every hunting accident in New York is preventable when people follow basic hunting safety rules,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I hope this tragedy serves as a reminder to hunters across the state to always be sure of their targets and beyond. We are grateful to the hard work of our Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office to bring this case to justice.”