Teen hunting death case will go to trial in June

Roger Hoeker will go to trial for death of Billy Gort Jr.

OCEANA COUNTY, MICH. - The case against a youth mentor and former hunting safety instructor accused in the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy will go to trial.

Roger Hoeker, 62, was charged with recklessly discharging a firearm back in February 2017. Hoeker was in court Monday, Feb. 12, when the trial date was set for mid-June.

Hoeker, Billy Gort Jr. and another boy were hunting in Oceana County. Hoeker told police one of his shots ricocheted off a tree, hitting Gort in the back of the head.

Gort died from his injury.

Hoeker would spend two years in prison if convicted. He already settled a wrongful death lawsuit over the incident.

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