New York Deer Hunter Kills Toddler With Stray Bullet

An upstate toddler was killed by a stray bullet when a New York City deer hunter fired his rifle too close to her grandparents' Hudson Valley home.

Edward Taibi, 45, of Queens was being held without bail Monday after arraignment on a second-degree manslaughter charge in the town of Bethel court. Taibi was hunting from a tree stand Sunday afternoon in rural Sullivan County when he shot a deer. He came down from the stand and fired the .30-caliber rifle again about 400 feet away from a trailer home in Swan Lake, a small community just south of the Catskill Mountains.

The bullet hit 16-month-old Charly Skala in the upper body. She was flown to Westchester Medical Center, where she died. Police said the child's parents live in nearby Woodburne.

Taibi is friends with the owner of the neighboring property and had hunted there before, said State Police Lt. Pierce Gallagher.

His case was assigned to the Sullivan Legal Aid Bureau, where attorney Jeff Bradley said Monday it was too soon to comment on the case.

Several neighbors declined comment Monday afternoon when reached by The Associated Press.

The rifle season for deer opened Saturday in the region that includes Sullivan County. Under state law, it's illegal to discharge a firearm or bow within 500 feet of any occupied residence or business unless the hunter owns or leases the property, or has the owner's consent, according to Maureen Wren of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Swan Lake is about 85 miles northwest of New York City.