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Teen charged in hunting death to go to trail

RUSK COUNTY, Wis. — The case of a La Crosse teenager who killed a Rusk County man with a stray bullet while hunting earlier this year is scheduled to go to trial after the teen's attorney and prosecutors failed to reach a plea agreement Wednesday.

Ryan A. Korish, 18, faces five felonies and two misdemeanors related to the death of Patrick McFarlane, 60, of rural Glen Flora, who was shot outside his home in March.

Korish's attorney and Rusk County District Attorney Jim Rennicke had reached a tentative plea agreement, but the deal fell through Wednesday in Rusk County Court.

A trial is scheduled to begin June 27.

The proposed agreement called for Korish to enter into an agreement on a charge of homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon and have a second-degree reckless homicide charge dismissed. Korish also would have been found guilty of two felony counts of injury by negligent use of a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor counts of negligent handling of a weapon and obstructing an officer.


McFarlane's family previously voiced opposition to the proposed agreement.

The Korishes are accused of initially lying to police about the shooting before giving an account that matched evidence at the scene. On Wednesday, Korish's father, John A. Korish, 47, of La Crosse, was found guilty of a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 18.

McFarlane died at Rusk County Memorial Hospital from injuries sustained when a bullet hit his left wrist and came to rest in his spine.

The Korishes had been coyote hunting with others in the area of the McFarlane residence and first told authorities that Ryan had fired one shot away from that residence. After an investigation, the Korishes later said Ryan fired three shots at coyotes.

McFarlane's family filed a civil lawsuit in mid-October in La Crosse County against the Korishes and their insurance companies.

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