DEC announces Lockwood man pleads guilty in hunting fatality case

A Lockwood man, who was alleged to have shot and killed his hunting companion in Barton, Tioga County, last December has pleaded guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced on Wednesday.

“The defendant in this case failed to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk, and failed to follow one of the most important tenets of hunting safety – be sure of your target and what is beyond before you pull the trigger,” Commissioner Seggos said, adding, “I’d like to thank our DEC officers and the Tioga County District Attorney’s office for securing a just outcome in this case.”

Dean A. Brockoff, 54, pleaded guilty Monday in Tioga County Court to the Class E felony before Honorable Justice Gerald A. Keene. In doing so, Brockoff admitted that on Dec. 9, 2018 he was hunting at 7 a.m., before legal sunrise, and shot at movement without identifying his target, negligently causing the death of his hunting partner David Barden, 73, on property off Miller Hollow Road in Lockwood. 

Brockoff was sentenced to serve six months in county jail and five years supervised probation, and 512 hours of community service and will be ineligible to receive a certificate or waiver of relief to possess a firearm. The court also issued an order of protection against the defendant to stay away from the victim’s spouse.

Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin following an investigation by DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) prosecuted this case. DEC Investigator Robert Johnson, DEC Lieutenant Chris Didion, DEC Captain Jesse Paluch, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department, and the New York State Police were all instrumental in the investigation.

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