PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A teenager from Clairton has been ordered to stand trial on homicide charges for what police are calling an accidental shooting that killed his best friend.
The families of Gerron Chaney, 18, and Karrie Linnen walked away from the courtroom knowing Chaney will now face trial on a homicide charge for accidentally killing his best friend.
“This is just one more example of what happens when firearms fall into the hands of people that don’t know how to handle them,” Prosecutor Mark Tranquilli said.
Nearly two weeks ago, Linnen and three other friends were in a garage in back of Chaney’s home in Clairton when he pulled out a gun.
Chaney unloaded the weapon and passed it around to one of the teens who then gave it to Linnen.
When Linnen gave the gun back to Chaney, he reloaded it and it went off, striking Linnen in the chest.
“He was there holding her, begging her not to die, crying and you know she passed away in his arms,” James Wymard, the defendant’s attorney, said. “He stayed, called for the police or the paramedics.”
The defense attorney asked the judge to reduce the charge to involuntary manslaughter saying there was no malice involved.
“Third degree requires malice, it requires hatred, cruelty, a wantonness – none of that existed here,” Wymard said. “This was an accident. This was involuntary. This was pure negligence and stupidity.”
“You have a firearm, you have a responsibility to take care of it because if you don’t and some tragedy occurs, you’re going to be made to answer for the tragedy that ensues,” Tranquilli said.
The defense attorney is hoping to convince a judge and jury to reduce the charge once the case goes to trial. Chaney remains in the Allegheny County Jail.