The man who fatally shot a teenage hunting companion whom he mistook for a deer while hunting out of season in western Glynn County on Sept. 28 is now behind bars.
Glynn County Police arrested Hector Romero-Hernandez, 32, on Monday, charging him with misuse of a firearm while hunting resulting in serious bodily harm, according to Glynn County Detention Center records. He remained Tuesday in the county jail, held without bond on the felony charge. Additionally, Romero-Hernandez is charged with hunting with an unlawful weapon, hunting without a big game license and hunting without a license, all three of which are misdemeanors, according to jail records.
Bobby Lee Lane, 17, was shot around 6:45 p.m. in woods near the 500 block of Myers Hill Road, located off U.S. Highway 82 in western Glynn County, police said. Romero-Hernandez and a third person on the illegal hunting trip drove Lane to a nearby Friendly Express to meet county paramedics, who took him to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital. Lane was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Romero-Hernandez allegedly told county police that the three hunters were in tree stands about 300 yards apart. They were supposed to meet back together at a prearranged location and time, he told police.
Romero-Hernandez told police he heard footsteps and rustling in the brush, the county police report said. Romero-Hernandez allegedly told police “when he looked at it, it looked like horns,” the police report said. “But it was a tree branch and he shot at it and he hit Lane by accident.”
Romero-Hernandez was hunting with a firearm out of season, police and DNR game wardens said. Deer hunting season with firearms does not open until Oct. 19. Bow hunting season opened Sept. 14.
Additionally, police said Romero-Hernandez did not have a hunting license, nor the added big game license needed to hunt deer.
A GoFundMe page has been established to help offset funeral expenses for Lane’s parents. The page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-expenses-for-bobby-lee-lane.
The state DNR’s law enforcement division is still investigating and more charges could be pending against Romero-Hernandez, said DNR Capt. Chris Hodge.