Pulaski County man makes plea deal in brothers accidental shooti - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Pulaski County man makes plea deal in brothers accidental shooting death in Radford

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A Pulaski County man gets probation for the accidental shooting death of his brother.

According to Radford Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Rehak, 22-year-old Samuel Christopher Smith entered a plea deal on Friday afternoon to three charges:

  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Discharge of a firearm
  • Reckless handling of a firearm

He was sentenced to ten years in prison, but as part of the plea deal, the sentence was suspended.  Instead, he'll pay a $500 fine, and serve probation for two years.

Investigators say Smith was playing with a handgun, that he thought was not loaded, on June 30, 2012.  Police tell us Smith pointed the gun at his brother, 25-year-old Travis Lincoln Smith, in the 200 block of Jefferies Drive.  Smith pulled the trigger, and hit his brother in the chest.

Smith was originally charged with second degree murder, but that charge was reduced as part of the plea deal.

"By all accounts this was an accidental shooting completely devoid of motive or malice and hence the crime is categorized as manslaughter," stated Rehak.  "The unusual nature of this tragedy further supports a disposition of probation."

Rehak added, "This is the second gun related accidental shooting death in a row involving family members our City has experienced.  Playing with guns is dangerous and the public is reminded to handle firearms with extreme caution and never assume a gun is unloaded."

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