December 4th, 2009 05:44 PM
Bad-- Don't "play" with firearms.
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.
December 4th, 2009 05:59 PM
This is really terrible. I believe she should be punished but i'll also say that i think the fact that she didn't know what she was doing should play a role. I may get flamed for saying this but I hope she doesn't go to jail. I dont believe this girl to be a bad person and i believe prison will make her a bad person. I've rarely seen an instance where prison helped someone get better
December 4th, 2009 06:06 PM
Better get on you flame resistant undies, I am wearing mine. I agree that if the details are trueand it was an accident. I am sure she is punishing herself everyday.
Originally Posted by fox2102
December 4th, 2009 06:38 PM
Calling this an "accident" is a misnomer, IMHO. This was criminally culpable willful negligence that lead to the death of a person.
Jail is appropriate, IMHO. She certainly knew it was a real gun, and that is enough.
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December 4th, 2009 06:45 PM
I HOPE she is. Guns aren't toys, and a young man is dead because of her carelessness.
Originally Posted by HITCH KING
MattLarson is right. She knew the gun was real, she pointed it, and pulled the trigger.
The idiot boyfriend showed her the "trick", probably just dumb luck that she isn't the one dead instead of him. Does that make him eligible for a Darwin Award?
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December 4th, 2009 07:03 PM
She has already learned a harder lesson than anything in jail could. All jail would do here is ruin another life.
Originally Posted by MattLarson
December 4th, 2009 07:13 PM
The most dangerous gun in the world, is an unloaded gun!
Sad sad sad!
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December 4th, 2009 07:18 PM
Call me a cynic but I don't believe her story for a second.
I would like to see a forensics report on this one. Him being found face down on a bed has alarm bells ringing in my head.
Was he hit in the face or the side or the back of the head?
If it was the back of the head, who was she demonstrating this trick to? The person that was not watching?
What was the range of the shot? What are the odds with an entire room to negligently discharge the weapon in she just happens to hit him in the head?
How close is she with this "friend" that taught her the "trick"?
Who is the owner of the weapon?
I don't buy this "accident" for a second.
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December 4th, 2009 07:44 PM
Ok, your a cynic.....ha, just kidding. Smells fishy to me also!
Originally Posted by mcp1810
December 4th, 2009 08:02 PM
I'm sorry, but the "trick" of dropping the mag without chambering a round ounds exactly like the games of "Trust" resulting in soldiers getting killed that made the news rounds about a month or so ago. If that's the case, the end-result of the game is that you point a gun at somebody and pull the trigger.
If that is the case, I have no sympathy. I would be very curious to find out if the dead boyfriend was military and might have picked up the game there. (Note: not a bash on military folks in general, to be sure; the "Trust" think just jumped out of that story at me, though...)
“What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia
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December 4th, 2009 08:37 PM
17 year old girl with a 21 year old boy, not at my house. Beem teaching her gun tricks, huh. Wrongful death. If she had shot one of my kids trying out her gun trick I would be screaming for the death penality.
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December 4th, 2009 09:17 PM
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December 4th, 2009 09:38 PM
An example made of her...
Prison is certainly not the most appropriate place to reform a wayward teenager, but she should be sent there nonetheless. This is a terrible tragedy that she will carry with her entire life. But what about the lives of the next of kin for the young man that was killed? Do they not deserve justice? A son/brother/cousin was killed and his family also needs justice. She may feel remorse and sorrow, but mercy cannot rob justice.
Another function of the justice system is to serve as an example to the rest of society. The other teenagers in the country need to know that this activity WILL NOT be tolerated. If she goes free with probation, what message do we send to all the other people out there?
"Surely the preservation and enjoyment of the freedoms vouchsafed to us by the Constitution of the United States will require eternal vigilance even to the guarding of it with our lives. We must ever keep faith with our founding fathers by keeping faith with our Constitution."
December 4th, 2009 09:49 PM
Agreed, very much so.
Originally Posted by MattLarson
Tricks are for kids and she as well as he (!) are old enough to know better than to play with guns.
And yes this was no "accident". What it was was idiots plural acting like morons, as with guns.
Did she mean for this to occur? Nope.
Did the victim think it would occur? Who the heck knows what he was thinking!
The bottom line though is that the very much predictable and well within reasonably expected did in fact occur.
Plain and simple this is a case of involuntary manslaughter.
You do the crime then you do the crime.
Even if you are stupid, ignorant and/or young, female and relatively cute.
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
December 4th, 2009 10:17 PM
Bad news guys, she has already been to jail. That's where she went with the police. If she is conivicted she will more than likely end up in prison. But I am sure she'll plead and end up with probation at best, split sentence at worse. Sorry bout being technical, criminal justice student and the jail/prison mix up is a pet peeve of mine. Anyway, back to lurking
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