Polk County, Florida – A Polk County man is facing attempted 2nd Degree Murder charges after allegedly shooting a wild game poacher on his fathers Ft. Meade, Florida property.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit on November 16th, 2016 2 men, Clifton Cochran and Loie Brakefield, were on private property (2525 District Line Rd. in Ft. Meade) allegedly poaching wild game. At the same time the property owners son, Grant Ackerly 33, was also on the property hunting.
Around 5pm Ackerly heard a gunshot and felt it was on the property his family owned near the roadway (District Line Rd.) so he ran towards where he heard the gunshot. According to the arrest affidavit as Ackerly came to a clearing he observed the two men dragging a deer from the family property towards a dark colored pick-up truck parked on the shoulder of the road.
According to the arrest affidavit Ackerly allegedly fired a shot in the direction of the men. Hearing the shot the two men threw the deer in the back of the truck and attempted to leave the scene. Ackerly alledgedly fired a second round which struck the rear drivers side door and the bullet reportedly broke apart. Part of the bullet went through the drivers seat and lodged into Cochran’s back. The two men were able to flee the property and drive to Bartow Regional Medical Center. Cochran had to be flown to Tampa General Hospital. Cochran reportedly spent 7 hours in surgery to remove the bullet fragment in his back.
Deputies contacted Ackerly by phone and during the interview he allegedly admitted to shooting two rounds from his 270 caliber hunting rifle into the ground. The shot that struck the truck and the victim was fired from approximately 140-150 yards away. Post Miranda Ackerly would not elaborate regarding the shooting after firing shots “into the ground”. He requested to speak with an attorney.
The weapon that was used could not be located and Ackerly allegedly left the weapon in the woods.
Ackerly was arrested on 11/29/2016 and charged with 2nd Degree Attempted Murder. The victim was last reported to be recovering from the incident.
The Florida Wildlife Commission is conducting an investigation into illegal taking of game and numerous other violations regarding Cochran and Brakefields actions.