Matthew Tyler Webb, the LaFayette, Ga., man who shot a girl last year, then started dating her only to lose her later, pleaded guilty last week to committing a series of wayward hunting mistakes.
Last November, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Webb smoked methamphetamine and hung out on the roof of his mother's house with Audrey Marie Mayo, a girl he had been flirting with for a couple of months. He thought he saw deer across the street, so he grabbed a rifle and plunged into the woods.
On the roof, Mayo believed she heard Webb calling for her, asking her to bring him a knife. So she walked across the street, too. She announced herself -- but not too loudly.
"I was doing like a half yell," she later said. "I didn't want to scare the deer away."
Hearing a rustling but seeing nothing, Webb fired a shot. He hit Mayo's leg, slicing through a vein in her thigh. She went to the hospital, where she almost died. Then, they began to date.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article said that Webb would go on probation for 18 months. He will go on probation for 18 years.
A year later, on Nov. 6, Webb pleaded guilty to a series of crimes. He will be on probation for 18 years. Meanwhile, his relationship with Mayo seems to have ended unceremoniously. As a condition of his probation, he must stay away from her.
Mayo did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.
But last year, she talked about how she forgave Webb for almost killing her. She felt sorry for him, and how badly he must have felt for shooting her. They weren't a couple at the time, but she was attracted to him. He seemed nice. Responsible, too.
After the shooting, she awoke at Erlanger hospital and found him in the room, clutching a note he had written. He wanted to apologize to her but was nervous, so he planned a speech.
They became an official couple, and he moved in to take care of her.
The Department of Natural Resources charged Webb with a series of crimes: misuse of hunting equipment, hunting under the influence, hunting with an unlawful weapon, hunting without a valid license, hunting without a big-game license, discharging a gun near a highway or a street, discharging a firearm on someone else's property and failure to wear fluorescent orange clothing.
The penalties for the charges varied. Misuse of hunting equipment carried a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The other charges carried one-year sentences. He also could have been forced to pay a $100,000 fine.
After the shooting, Mayo and Webb's relationship garnered national headlines. The New York Daily News wrote about them. So did Gawker. "Saturday Night Live" even featured them on a segment of "Weekend Update."
"In Georgia," cast member Cecily Strong told the audience, "[any gunshot] that's not in the chest or face is just flirting."
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at email@example.com or 423-757-6476.
News report from the shooting: