SIDMAN - A misdemeanor charge has been filed against the man police said accidently shot and killed a friend during a hunting trip in December.
According to Game Commission officials, Matthew Scott Nadolsky, 29, of 932 Peaceful Valley Road, Windber, shot and killed Timothy Bruce, 42, of Ashville, during a deer drive near Seesetown Road in Adams Township the afternoon of Dec. 7.
Pennsylvania Game Com
mission spokesman Tom Fazi said Nadolsky and Bruce were the drivers for a nine-member hunting party and were guiding the deer toward the other hunters when, for whatever reason, the deer ran back toward them.
According to a criminal complaint, Nadolsky fired two rounds from his .270-caliber Remington Gamemaster rifle, one of which struck Bruce in the abdomen. Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski pronounced Bruce dead at the scene about 4:41 p.m.
Nadolsky later told police he was aware of where Bruce was standing, approximately 180 feet away, before the shooting occurred.
He is charged with shooting at or causing injury to a human while hunting, a misdemeanor offense - but the most serious charge the Game Commission could file.
"We had no wiggle room here. There's only one applicable charge," Fazi said.
Fazi said officials knew what happened the day of the shooting but complied with requests from the Cambria County District Attorney's office to wait for full autopsy results and other tests before filing charges.
"Based on our reconstruction of the scene and the injuries on the victim, there was only one person who could have fired that shot," Fazi said, and both Bruce's and Nadolsky's families were notified soon after the incident.
"He's known for some time that these charges were pending," Fazi said of Nadolsky.
A criminal complaint said Nadolsky's charges resulted from "his own carelessness or negligence when deer passed through the area."
Nadolsky could not be reached for comment.
Fazi said if police or other officials believed Bruce's shooting was intentional, Nadolsky would have been arrested long ago.
"It is unfortunate, the incident, and he'll have a hearing ... and it'll be up to the judge to impose whatever sentence he or she deems appropriate," Fazi said.
Nadolsky faces losing his hunting privileges for 15 years if convicted, along with up to $10,000 in fines to be paid to Bruce's family and an 18-month prison sentence.
Fazi said the Game Commission isn't interested in pursuing jail time.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Persio said he couldn't comment on how severe a sentence prosecutors are pursuing.
"With respect to what ultimately would be an appropriate penalty, if a conviction results in this case, that will be up to one of the judges in Cambria County to determine," he said. "Having said that, our office always attempts to obtain as much input as possible from the family of the victim in a case like this."
Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.