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Man pleads guilty to shooting fellow deer-poacher

| Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

A man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after saying he accidentally shot his friend while they were poaching deer.

Fifty-three-year-old Michael Matter was charged with first-degree murder in April after he was found in North Carolina driving a truck that belonged to the victim, 60-year-old Howard Urquhart.

Urquhart, of Greenville, was found shot in the neck in February, more than a month after his family reported him missing.

Matter will be sentenced March 5. Mercer County District Attorney Robert Kochems is asking for 16 to 32 years in prison for the killing, the truck theft, and charges related to the weapon and using Urquhart's credit card.

Matter says he and Urquhart were poaching deer in the dark when he mistook the victim for a deer and shot him.

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