2008-12-11 / Family

Pa. Bear Hunter Charged With Killing Heckler

VINTONDALE, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania bear hunter already jailed on charges he assaulted a heckler is now charged with criminal homicide after a coroner's ruling.

State police say 60-year-old Stephen Shesko, of Seward, fought with 28-year-old Erick Melius, of Ebensburg, on Nov. 24. Police say that happened after Melius yelled from a passing vehicle at Shesko and other bear hunters in Buffington Township, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Police say Shesko punched Melius through the vehicle's window. It drove off but returned. And that's when police say Shesko beat Melius after Melius began trying to punch a second hunter.

Shesko was originally charged with aggravated assault. Police added the homicide charge Wednesday after the coroner ruled the death a homicide after autopsy results were finalized.

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