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9:29 am
Sat February 26, 2011

Hunter Killed

Wilburton, OK – WILBURTON, Okla. (AP) Latimer County prosecutors won't file criminal charges against a Hartshorne man for fatally shooting a friend while deer hunting.

Seventy-one-year-old Jack Zearley fired a high-powered rifle while he and 43-year-old John Morgan were hunting in the Gowen Mountain area in southeastern Oklahoma on Oct. 24, 2009.

Morgan died from a gunshot wound to the neck.

District Attorney Jeff Smith told the Tulsa World Friday he determined there wasn't enough evidence to refute Zearley's claim of an accidental shooting beyond a reasonable doubt.

Morgan's widow, Dana, didn't want criminal charges filed against Zearley. She couldn't be reached for comment.

Zearley didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Officials say the men had no hunting licenses and weren't wearing hunter safety clothing.

A toxicology report showed Morgan had methamphetamine in his system.