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L.I. Man Charged In Friend’s Hunting Trip Death

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Robert Gerbino, 57, of Garden City is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the November 2013 death of volunteer firefighter Charles Bruce. (Credit: NY State Police)

Robert Gerbino, 57, of Garden City is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the November 2013 death of volunteer firefighter Charles Bruce. (Credit: NY State Police)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island man is facing criminal charges for killing a friend during a hunting trip last fall, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera first reported.

Robert Gerbino, 57, of Garden City is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the November 2013 death of volunteer firefighter Charles Bruce.

Charles Bruce, a volunteer firefighter with the Malverne Fire Department, was killed in an upstate hunting trip. (credit: Handout)

Charles Bruce, a volunteer firefighter with the Malverne Fire Department, was killed in an upstate hunting trip. (credit: Handout)

Bruce, a 52-year-old father of two, was on an annual hunting trip with friends from the Malverne Fire Department when he was shot in the chest in Westford just east of Cooperstown.

Gerbino admitted that he shot and killed his pal after mistaking him for a deer, Rivera reported.

WEB EXTRA: Read the indictment 

“The evidence suggests that this was truly an accident, however, it was an accident that should have never happened,” Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl told Rivera.

“Criminally negligent homicide is on the books for these cases. For the cases where the person didn’t have any intent but they were so careless under society’s standards that they should still be held responsible for their actions,” Muehl said.

Gerbino — who sources say is a husband, father and teacher — pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court May 5.

Gerbino’s defense attorney, Bruce Maxson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Criminally negligent homicide carries a penalty of up to four years, but Gerbino could get off with no jail time, Rivera reported.

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