MAQUOKETA, Iowa — A woman recently was sentenced for shooting at a squirrel on her mother’s porch in Maquoketa, with one of the shots nearly hitting a neighbor when it ricocheted.

Janice E. Caine, 60, of rural Maquoketa, pleaded guilty in Iowa District Court of Jackson County to a charge of reckless use of a firearm. She was given a deferred judgment and sentenced to one year of probation. With a deferred judgment, if probation and payment obligations are successfully completed, the record of the case is expunged.

Court documents state that Caine was trying to kill a squirrel in her mother’s screened-in porch at 205 Thomas Ave. on May 29.


Police said she fired a handgun at it four times. Two of the shots “were not able to be accounted for.” The third hit a children’s playground set, struck a stainless steel smoker and ricocheted to hit the home of Justin G. Taylor at 207 Thomas Ave.

“The fourth discharge of the gun struck the ground less than 2 feet away from where (Taylor) was standing,” documents state.

There was no mention of the squirrel being struck.

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