Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer

Posted by Colby Rogers - email

FLOYD, VA (AP) - A Floyd County animal control officer who said he intended to shoot a wayward cow is on trial for killing a farmer instead.

Jurors could begin deliberations Wednesday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Garland Nester, who is accused in the May 29 killing of Paul Belcher , 75, near Meadows of Dan.

Belcher was assisting Nester with rounding up the 850-pound animal when he was fatally shot by the 45-year-old defendant.

Defense attorney David Damico said Belcher's death was the result of a bullet ricocheting off the cow's right foreleg.

But prosecutor Clifford Hapgood said Nester shot at the cow in anger after he had chased the animal for an hour. He said nester was negligent and "needs to be punished."

(c) 2009. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.