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Hypothetical? or not?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:07 pm
by Rising Star
A hunter is moving from one stand to another and sees a man hanging from a tree limb. The apparent attempted suicide is not yet dead and the hunter can see him still moving. The tree limb is overhanging a river that is moving rather vigorously from recent rains,

The hunter climbs out onto the limb and is able to cut the rope. The attempted suicide falls into the river. The hunter jumps in after him in order to get him to shore but in unsuccessful due to the force of the water and the man/body float away.

Rescue is called but due to the lateness of the day, the man/body is not found. The deceased body is recovered the next day downriver.

The hunter undergoes hours of interrogation by the police.

As of this time no charges are filed. Thought - if the attempted suicide victim was alive at the time he went into the river, then the actions of the hunter were the cause of death. Probably not criminally liable but who knows what relative might seek civil compensation.

What would you have done?

Sounds like a law school hypothetical but this is an actual event - outcome of which is still ongoing - all within the past several days.