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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.

Charged with involuntary manslaughter, Kelly G. Jackson, 53, was sentenced to two years probation and 180 days of work release Aug. 2, according to Jo Daviess County court records.

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.

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.

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.”

Lance Canania October 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM
When you go hunting this is one of the risks that you voluntarily take. It wasn't permissible to discharge that shotgun ahead of schedule. However unless it can be proven that there was intent, then at the end of the day it was a needless accident. Our hearts pour out for the family of the deceased.
Chrissy Schwarz October 11, 2012 at 06:44 PM
It is awful the kind if "time" this killer was able to have, where John's wife will sleep a number of nights alone and his children will not have a father for ever. This man will probably continue on his hunting trips and live a long life. I pray he can at a minimum talk about the life he stole from this family and is able to spread the word about carelessness. My heart goes out to Leslie and her young family. As she said, this should never have happened.
cynthia October 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I can tell ypou the police, the conservation districts, state attorneys are all buddy buddy. I have been fighting the illegal hunting and hunters tresspassing on my property for years, They all cover up for each other. I am sorry for this man's death. But, this is exactly way I am aganist hunting..It bring the wrong people with the wrong character to your area. People like the shooter. Jo Davis thinks they are Wisconsin where people have to stay indoors during hunting season because of all the crazy hunters
Mark Witt October 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM
My family went thru a very similiar situation when my father was shot and killed the 1st time I hunted with him. God has opened up many doors for my brother and me to speak around the US and Canada on gun safety and about our faith that gets us thru each day without dad. (www.followingourfather.com). Leslie, you and the family continue to be in our prayers!
Linda Kovathana October 18, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I am very disappointed by the disposition in this case. The individual who shot John Hanlon -- a father, a husband, a tax professional admired by everyone who worked with him -- the gunman, Kelly Jackson, is said to have done this before in an earlier hunting accident, and walked free before. In the interest of public safety, how is this result the appropriate measure of justice?

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