Canada Trial for hunter who shot husband begins

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, Newfoundland (AP) -- The trial of an American woman who said she shot and killed her husband because she thought he was a bear began in Eastern Canada on Monday.

Lambert Greene, a hunting guide, testified at the first day of the trial that Mary Beth Harshbarger became hysterical after the shooting.

Harshbarger told authorities that she mistook her 42-year-old husband for a bear while the two were hunting in central Newfoundland in 2006. She has pleaded not guilty.

Canadian officials have charged her with criminal negligence causing death. They say it was too dark to fire a gun safely.

If convicted, the 45-year-old homemaker from Pennsylvania faces four years to life in prison.

Greene said that he and Mark Harshbarger were making their way back from the brush toward Greene's pickup truck when the shot was fired.

"Mark proceeded on toward the truck. Then I heard a shot. After the shot, I heard a loud scream," he testified.

Greene said he soon reached Mark lying face down on the ground, his coveralls stained with blood.

"There was no sign of life. I got up and I looked towards the truck. Mary Beth was standing up by the side of the truck then. I called out: 'Did you shoot your rifle?' And she said: 'Yes.'

The prosecution is expected to call 16 witnesses during the trial, which is scheduled for two weeks.

Harshbarger surrendered to Canadian authorities after a lengthy court

Published: Tue, Sep 14, 2010