Case involving hunter’s shooting death could go to trial

A man accused of shooting a member of his hunting party is likely to take his case to trial.

Harry Watkins, 52, is charged with criminally negligent homicide after he allegedly shot and killed 26-year-old Simon Howell of West Virginia while they were hunting outside Kremmling on Nov. 9.

During Watkins’ scheduled arraignment on Thursday, 14th Judicial District Attorney Matt Karzen requested a continuance in preparation for a potential trial.

“I’ve been talking with our witnesses and one of them has a scheduling conflict this fall, such as if we move the arraignment, we’re going to have a lot less trouble,” Karzen explained.

Without objection from Jones, Judge Mary Hoak continued the arraignment to May 27.

Howell’s death occurred two years after the last fatal hunting incident in Colorado, which also happened in Grand County.

In November 2018, Ernest Ackerly, 43, of Centennial died after being accidentally shot while the hunting party was preparing to head into the nearby forest off County Road 41.

Investigators determined the rifle discharged while it was being loaded. No one was charged in that incident.

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