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December trial date set for alleged drunk hunter

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By The Staff

The man charged three felony counts of wanton endangerment and harvesting wildlife under the influence is scheduled to stand trial Dec. 12-13 in Anderson Circuit Court, according to court documents.
The dates mark the second time David Gaines, 40, of 1040 Lakeshore Drive has been scheduled to stand trial. The first trial was called off just days before it was scheduled to begin when the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office sought to indict him on felony charges instead of the misdemeanor charges he faced in district court.
Gaines has pleaded not guilty to the charges both in district and circuit courts from an incident last September that resulted in a former state Fish and Wildlife officer allegedly being shot while dove hunting in a public field off Gilberts Creek Road.
Rex Burkhead, who retired several years ago from Fish and Wildlife, claims in a statement that Gaines fired at him and birdshot from Gaines’ gun “hit him rather hard,” despite a report filed by Fish and Wildlife officers that showed Burkhead was nearly 200 yards away from Gaines at the time.
That report also alleges that when a Fish and Wildlife officer approached Gaines, he could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverages and noticed Gaines’ eyes were “very glossy and bloodshot.”
Gaines allegedly told the officer that he had four or five beers when he was home, and he had his last beer around noon.
The officer also reported finding six empty beer cans in Gaines’ cooler, one of which had been shot with a shotgun.
Allegedly shooting at Burkhead resulted in one felony charge. The others stem from two people hunting with Burkhead at the time, who did not claim they had been hit.
A pretrial conference has been scheduled for Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. in Anderson Circuit Court.