East Texas man not guilty of harassing hunters

Gray's attorney Albert Charanza
Gray's attorney Albert Charanza
Game Warden Captain Shawn Phillips
Game Warden Captain Shawn Phillips
Jessie Curtis Gray
Jessie Curtis Gray

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

POLLOK, TX (KTRE)- Monday, an East Texas man was found not guilty of hunter harassment under the Sportsman's Rights Act.

Jessie Curtis Gray owns a repair workshop and admits it can get loud on his property, but says he would never intentionally harass hunters leasing the neighboring land.

"I felt that they were trying to take my right as my property away," said Gray.

Members of the Briar Creek Hunting Club contacted the Texas Parks and Wildlife with noise complaints.

"They alleged that he had been interrupting hunters by blowing a loud train horn, popping off fireworks, and having his music way too loud," said Gray's attorney, Albert Charanza.

In December of 2009, Gray was arrested and charged with hunter harassment, a violation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code.

"We believe that the hunters were encroaching upon Mr. Gray's right to engage in his business on his property," said Charanza.

A road separates his land from the hunting grounds. Gray says in all of the 16 years that he's owned this property, this is the first harassment complaint he's received.

"They need to kind of find some deeper woods, I mean get out of the housing additions and you know my business because it's just too close and too open now," said Gray.

Game Warden Captain Shawn Phillips wouldn't comment on this case, but says there aren't many like them, even in East Texas.

"Usually it's related to deer hunting and normally it's to try and scare the deer off so the hunters can't kill the deer," said Phillips.

Now, Gray has proven his innocence in court, and hopes the hunters will respect him, and his noise.

According to Charanza, four of the jurors are active hunters.

We're told this is the first year of operation for the Briar Creek Hunting club.

KTRE contacted the club president as well as the landowner-- both declined comment.

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