Two Minnesota teenagers have been charged with second-degree manslaughter after a 17-year-old male was killed with a gun in November 2019. The young men charged in the death were 15 and 16 years old.

The three teenagers went to the 17-year-old’s home to play video games after school. While the 17-year-old was playing, the 16-year-old took a gun out of his backpack. He told the other teens that he had stolen it out of a vehicle in October 2019. He told police that he unloaded the gun and gave it to the 15-year-old, who played with it momentarily before handing it back to the 16-year-old. The 16-year-old then re-loaded the gun, gave it to the 15-year-old and asked him to place it back in his backpack.

According to the 16-year-old, he heard a loud noise and discovered that the 15-year-old had accidentally shot the 17-year-old. The teenagers then called 911 and applied pressure to the teen’s wound. When the police arrived, medics had already been on the scene and declared the 17-year-old dead. The boys were formally charged at the Ramsey County District Court. In December 2019, the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges under the direction of his criminal defense lawyer.

Those who accidentally commit a gun crime may face severe consequences in addition to the guilt they already feel. When a gun is mishandled, it’s important for a criminal defense lawyer to show that the charged individual did not have any malice and that the incident was an accident. A lawyer may be able to reach a plea agreement with the prosecution to reduce the sentence for those charged with a gun crime. In this case, the four-year prison sentence was stayed, and the charged individual will not have to serve any time in prison as long as he meets the conditions of the probation.