Thighe Joseph Kavanagh

Slap on the wrist for Amissville trespasser after deer incident

Thighe Kavanagh, 53, recently of Washington, was arraigned in Rappahannock County District Court Tuesday on a new charge stemming from a July 24 incident in Tiger Valley in which a 5-year-old girl was shot in the leg.

Appearing in the courtroom via teleconference from the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail where he is being held without bond, Kavanagh was formally charged with felony possession of a weapon. As a convicted felon, Kavanagh is barred from possessing weapons including firearms, tasers, or explosives.

Also in connection with the shooting, Kavanagh was previously charged with felony counts of discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling, reckless handling of a firearm with injury, and causing or permitting a child to be injured. He was also charged with obstruction of justice and being drunk in public, both misdemeanors.

His common law wife Sherry Dytrych, 58, was also arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and child cruelty. She is also being held without bond at RSW.

Kavanagh and Dytrych had been living with Kavanagh’s 86-year-old father Edmund Kavanagh at his Tiger Valley home at the time of the incident.

In other District Court action, Stephen James Hensley, 24, of Amissville, was sentenced on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and failure to present a deer after he was caught hunting without permission on the 63-acre Amissville property of Tom Woolman.

Woolman told reporters Tuesday that he had suspected Henley of repeatedly trespassing and hunting on his property. Then a game camera Woolman placed on his property caught Hensley in the act. Judge J. Gregory Ashwell sentenced Hensley 30 days in jail, all suspended, and to pay a $1000 fine, but he suspended $750. Two other misdemeanor charges — unlawful hunting and failure to hunt with wearing pink or orange safety apparel — were dropped.    

“If [Hensley] had come and asked me if he could hunt, I probably would have said yes,” Woolman said. “But I don’t want him out there shooting [without my knowledge] where my kids might be.”

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