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Cook man offered plea deal in shooting

Tom Klein
Posted 1/22/16

COOK – A Cook hunter accused of fatally shooting a 14-year-old boy while hunting on western Colorado’s Grand Mesa has been offered a plea agreement.

According to The Daily Sentinel of Grand …

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Cook man offered plea deal in shooting

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COOK – A Cook hunter accused of fatally shooting a 14-year-old boy while hunting on western Colorado’s Grand Mesa has been offered a plea agreement.

According to The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, officials will learn if 59-year-old Guy Pohto accepts the district attorney’s offer at his next court appearance on Jan. 27.

The plea agreement calls for a guilty plea to manslaughter, allowing for the possibility of two to six years in prison.

Pohto is charged in connection with the Sept. 13 death of Justin Burns of Pallisade, Colo..

The youth died of a gunshot wound to his chest at the Big Creek Reservoir in the Uncompahgre National Forest while Burns was bow hunting with his father.

In related news, Pohto is being sued by Justin’s parents, Cory and Karla, for their son’s wrongful death. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $75,000, accounting for grief, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

“Defendant’s conduct in causing the death of plaintiff’s son was so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, that a reasonable member of the community would regard the conduct as atrocious, going beyond all possible bounds of decency and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” the lawsuit states.

Potho failed to respond to the lawsuit, and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado entered a default judgment against Pohto.

The default judgment, if not set aside, means Pohto could be responsible for monetary damages to the Burns family for the wrongful death of Justin.

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