Hunter Charged In Fatal Shooting Of Inverness Man Set To Be Released
An East Dubuque man who shot and killed 44-year-old Inverness resident John Hanlon in a hunting accident last November is set to be released Thursday.
An East Dubuque man charged in connection with the fatal shooting of 44-year-old Inverness resident John Hanlon is to be released Thursday.
The work release sentence, which did not begin until Aug. 13, is set to expire early Thursday, Oct. 8.
“I’m very frustrated and disappointed, disappointed with the sentence given the gravity of what happened,” said Leslie Hanlon, John’s widow.
John Hanlon, 44, was killed by a gunshot wound to the abdomen last November while on a hunting trip in East Dubuque with his one of his four children. Hanlon’s 15-year-old son was hit by the same shot, but the teenager survived his injuries.
Jackson, who was part of a different hunting party, fired the shot that struck Hanlon and his son Nov. 19, 2011. As Patch previously reported, Jackson discharged his 12-gauge shotgun around 5:30 a.m., according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, that was about an hour before it was legal to possess a loaded shotgun or hunt deer.
“A life was taken so needlessly, it was a senseless act,” Leslie Hanlon said. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
In the Jo Daviess County’s work release program, Hanlon said Jackson only had to report to jail at night. “He just had to sleep in prison seven nights a week,” she said.
A Class 3 Felony, involuntary manslaughter is punishable by two to five years in prison or 2 1/2 years probation and a fine up to $25,000.
“Involuntary manslaughter is a probational offense, so it is in the realm of the law,” she said. “But under the circumstances, all of us who were there that day [sentencing] were shocked.”
Jackson entered a blind plea or a guilty plea that is not attached to a sentence for the charge of involuntary manslaughter. Hanlon said it was up to a Jo Daviess County judge to determine Jackson’s sentencing.
“My son and I read victim impact statements,” Hanlon said. “We poured our hearts out and it didn’t really make a difference.”
With the criminal case closed and Jackson to be released, the Hanlon family filed a civil suit against the East Dubuque man in April. The next hearing for that case is set for Nov. 20, the day after the one year anniversary of John Hanlon's death.
“We’re definitely having a hard time and we’re coming up on a year,” Leslie Hanlon said, “It’s been a hard, long year and all the legal stuff on top of it has added to the pain.”