Man who shot Encon officer pleads guilty

55 year old Alan Blanchard of Gallatin plead guilty today to second degree assault in Columbia County Court. Blanchard shot Encon officer James Davey on November 29th in a cornfield. He is still recovering from his injuries. Sentencing is scheduled for April 28th.

Press release from November 29th:

PRESS RELEASE Gallatin, New York – 

On November 29, 2016, New York State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Alan Blanchard, 55 of Gallatin, NY, for Assault in the 2nd degree, a class D felony, following an accidental shooting of a police officer while hunting. 

On November 29, 2016 at approximately 5:00pm New York State Environmental Police officers Lieutenant Eliza Bobseine and Officer James Davey were investigating a complaint of a reported trespass with shots fired in the area on Silvernails Road in the Town of Gallatin when they came upon fresh tire tracks leading into a cut cornfield. While walking through the field, Officer Davey was shot one time with a rifle in the area of his pelvis. The shooter, Alan Blanchard, and his hunting partner, James Brown of Pine Plains, NY, subsequently remained at the scene and assisted with rescue efforts. Investigation determined Blanchard’s reckless conduct led to the accidental shooting of Officer Davey. Officer Davey underwent surgery and is recovering at a local hospital. 

New York State Police were assisted by New York State Environmental Conservation Police. Town of Pine Plains Fire Department Rescue Squad and Northern Dutchess paramedics responded to scene and provided medical services and transportation to the hospital. 

Blanchard was arraigned in the Town of Livingston Court and remanded to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of no bail and is scheduled to reappear in the Town of Livingston Court on 12/8/16 at 7:00pm.

Video from his last court appearance

Commissioner Basil Seggos and Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka regarding today’s guilty plea in the November shooting of Environmental Conservation Officer James Davey

Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Today, Alan Blanchard is taking responsibility for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he shot Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) James Davey.  I commend the work of our ECOs, New York State Police and Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka in helping to bring this case to fruition, and I hope it serves as an example for all that illegal hunting after dusk and careless conduct with firearms will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I also again want to thank Lt. Liza Bobseine, who was on patrol with ECO Davey that evening, and whose swift action in the field, compressing the wound, is credited with saving his life.”

Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said, “I want to thank NYSP Sr. Inv. Bill Mulrein and give the highest praise to ECO Davey and Lt. Bobseine.  These brave public servants work night and day to enforce the law and protect us all. The people of Columbia County and, in particular, the sportsmen and women of Columbia County, are extremely grateful for their service.  We hope that this conviction will deter other irresponsible hunters – an extremely small minority – from similar criminal conduct.”

Alan Blanchard, 55, of Gallatin, pleaded guilty to Assault in the 2nd degree, a Class D felony, in Columbia County Court in front of Judge Jonathan Nichols today.  The two ECOs were in the town of Gallatin investigating reports of deer poaching that night when Blanchard shot Davey in the pelvis. He underwent surgery at the Mid-Hudson Hospital, spent time in the Intensive Care Unit, and is now undergoing extensive rehabilitation for his injuries.

Blanchard is due back in court April 28 for sentencing. Assault in the 2nd degree carries penalties of up to seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

ECO Davey, 39, is a 12-year veteran of the force, having graduated from the DEC Basic Police Academy in 2005. He is currently assigned to patrol Columbia County. Officer Davey is a Division of Criminal Justice Services-Certified Police Instructor, having recently become a Certified Firearms instructor for the DEC.

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