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Palm Harbor Man Facing Manslaughter Charge After Firing Rifle He Assumed Was Unloaded At Friend

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A Palm Harbor man is facing felony homicide charges after he allegedly accidentally shot to death a friend with a firearm he assumed was not loaded.

Deputies say the 26-year-old man was entertaining the similarly-aged man in an upstairs room of his home in the early evening last Thursday as they both played video games. The defendant was in the process of customizing a Colt M4 rifle, and he retrieved it to display to his friend.

The defendant allegedly told investigators that he jokingly pointed the rifle at his friend, who joked back asking if he was going to fire a shot at him. The defendant allegedly squeezed the trigger, assuming the rifle was unloaded and that the act would be harmless.

Unfortunately, the rifle was indeed loaded, and the round fired off at the victim. The shot penetrated the victim’s chest, and first responders arrived shortly after to transport the victim to hospital. The victim’s wound was serious, and he expired shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The Florida native was booked into the Pinellas County Jail early the next morning on one count of manslaughter. He was released later that day after posting a bond of $10,000.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murderfelony drug chargesdrunk drivinggovernment fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Conact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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