Case will go ahead in accidental shooting
The man accused of shooting a friend in the stomach Feb. 24 was in court Thursday when a judge allowed the case against him to go forward.
A date has not been set but trial of 18-year-old Andrew House should begin early this summer, according to Mike Atwell of the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.
Joshua Parker, also 18, was not seriously wounded in the incident and said at the preliminary hearing that he believes the shooting was an accident. House, however, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and willfully discharging a firearm in a negligent manner.
“Sometimes terrible things happen that are not crimes and this is certainly one of them,” said David Rogers, who is defending House. He called the incident unfortunate but not something that constitutes assault or negligence.
“We are lucky that Mr. Parker’s injuries were limited,” Rogers added.
House was allegedly showing the gun, which he found in closet, to several people at the house who were watching movies and dancing. According to South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Martin Hewlett House loaded one live round into the .38-caliber handgun and raised it above his head in an attempt to scare Parker and the other party guests.
Parker, who did not know the gun was loaded, was wounded when he tried to take the gun away from House.
“If the only testimony I heard was from Mr. Parker, the court might view this as a tragic accident between two close friends,” Said El Dorado County Supreme Court Judge Jerald Lasarow, who called this another example of the need for gun locks.
Lasarow was persuaded to let the trial move forward by testimony from Hewlett who said House allegedly told people he intended to scare Parker and that he knew the gun was loaded. He said he did not know all the facts but thought that the defense may be able to make a good case during a jury trial.
“I am sure Andrew (House) is asking himself how he could have been so stupid,” Lasarow said.
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