The Des Moines Register has reported on a shooting death involving two teenagers. 16-year-old Corey L. Hamilton, Jr. was killed in an apparent accidental shooting. Dontavius Rashaum Sharkey is charged with manslaughter in his death. Hamilton died on Friday, October 12, 2012. The incident occurred at 1444 East Walnut Street.
Dontavius Rashaum Sharkey is not charged with murder because police believe it was an accident. However, they apparently have information that the defendant was recklessly playing around with the gun when it went off and shot Hamilton. Although this could be classified as an “accident,” such reckless behavior can also be the crime of involuntary manslaughter. It is the reckless nature of the alleged actions (horseplay) that makes this a possible crime.
While the facts aren’t totally clear here, it appears that Sharkey was screwing around, just assuming that the gun was unloaded. He aimed it at victim Hamilton and pulled the trigger. Assuming this is true, it is a pretty classic case of manslaughter. You can’t just assume that there are no bullets in a gun and shoot at someone as a joke.