Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Hunting Accident
by Timothy W. Scee
Special to Newzjunky.com
Published October 26, 2010
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The
man accused of fatally shooting a Watertown man in an
apparent hunting accident on Oct. 18 is facing a felony
charge after being arraigned Tuesday in the Town of
Terry J. Hofferberth, 43, who says he has no permanent
address and lives with friends, was arraigned before Hon.
James P. McClusky at 1 p.m., where he was charged with
second-degree manslaughter and two violations for
“hunting after legal hours” and “hunting with a
shotgun during early muzzleloading season,” according to
Bail was set at $15,000 and Hofferberth was sent to the
Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building following the
arraignment. He was issued an application to be
represented by a public defender.
Hofferberth’s arrest was made Tuesday by Jefferson
County Sheriff’s deputies after a felony complaint was
made against him.
At approximately 6:45 p.m., Oct. 18, Clayton E. Typhair,
56, of 305 Gotham St., Apt. 2, was shot once in the right
leg while hunting with Terry Hofferberth, Phillip S.
Hofferberth, 49, of 305 Gotham St., Apt. 5, and Nicholas
D. Rafus, 25, of 205 Winslow St., on the property of CSX
Transportation Inc., 25859 State Route 37, in the town of
On his way back to his vehicle after hunting, Terry said
he “saw something in the ditch on the right side of the
tracks,” according to a statement he gave to the
“I then ejected a shell and I herd Oh you shot me you
son of a bitch,” Terry said in a statement to the
sheriff’s department. “I then realized I had shot
someone and not a deer.”
Terry attributed “blurry” vision to the
accident, stating he is diabetic.
“It was too dark for him to really see what was going
on,” Maurice Guidry, a detective of the sheriff’s
department said. “Unfortunately, he would up firing at
his friend, Clayton Typhair, and hitting him.”
Phillip said he heard yelling after the shot was fired,
“but it was unclear who or what was being said.”
Upon discovering Typhair had been shot, Phillip held him
into his arms as he lay bleeding, as his brother phoned
911 on his cell phone for help.
“He laid back into my arms and I noticed his eyes roll
back and he let out a gasp of air,” Phillip said. “He
did not move after that.”
Rafus, who was walking back to the vehicles at the time,
said he was unaware of what had happened when he stumbled
upon the Hofferberth brothers and Typhair.
“I walked up to Phil and he immediately took my gun,”
Rafus said. “He told me that Clayton had been shot and
to run and get help.” Rafus stood by the road to flag
Authorities are ruling the incident as accidental.
Scheduled for 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 1, is a preliminary