Maybe a good reason for hunter/gun safety to be brought back into school. This is just terrible.
Deputies: Teen Accidentally Kills Boyfriend
Aleisha Wheeler Says She Was Trying To Do 'Gun Trick'
POSTED: 6:30 am EST December 3, 2009
UPDATED: 5:48 am EST December 4, 2009
GREENWOOD, S.C. -- A Greenwood teen charged in her boyfriend's shooting death after a gun trick went wrong was granted release into her mother's custody on Thursday afternoon.
Aleisha Wheeler, 17, faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter and possession of a pistol by a person under 18.
Wheeler was trying to do a trick that her boyfriend's roommate had shown her where the magazine of the pistol is dropped out of the gun and no bullet goes into the chamber, investigators said. Instead, a bullet did go into the chamber and the 9mm semi-automatic handgun fired a single round, hitting her boyfriend, 21-year-old Matthew Wayne Fultz, in the head.
Fultz was found lying face down on a bed in the back room of his home located on Barkwood Lane, according to Capt. Ray Watson of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office.
Wheeler appeared at a bond hearing that started at about 1:15 p.m. on Thursday. She was brought to the courthouse wearing handcuffs and an orange prison jump suit. Several members of her family were sitting in the front row of the courtroom to watch the hearing.
Judge C. Ryan Johnson presided. The state asked for reasonable bond to be set in the case. Wheeler's attorney said that she is not a flight risk, nor a danger to the community.
"The tragedy was born truly out of a lack of understanding of just how dangerous these guns and weapons are on her part and we don't believe there is a pattern of conduct that should cause this court concern," said lawyer W. Townes Jones IV.
The judge asked Wheeler when she dropped out of school, and she told him about a month ago. Her attorney said she had been a senior at Greenwood High.
Wheeler appeared emotional when her attorney explained that this was all a "tragic accident."
The judge granted Wheeler be released into her mother's custody on a $30,000 personal recognizance bond.
She will be required to live at her mother's house until her next court appearance and was put on a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
“It’s a tragic incident with an individual who was not familiar with the dangers or the proper handling of a firearm," Watson said. "People that are familiar with guns and have knowledge about guns know that you just do not play with guns," he added.
Wheeler faces up to 10 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter and weapon possession charge. Her next court appearance is in February.