Man Pleads Guilty in Brighton Gun Range Shooting Death
Jessce Lincon Stearn is charged with manslaughter and felony firearms.
A Brighton man pleaded guilty to manslaughter and felony firearms Friday morning in connection with the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Charles Robert Kimball in June 2012 at a Brighton gun range, according to the Livingston Daily.
Jessce Lincon Stearn, formerly of Howell, is charged with the crimes for the June 30 incident at the Livingston Conservation and Sports Association gun range.
Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte said back in October that Stearn and Kimball should not have been at the gun range that day and that Stearn was holding a replica AK-47 when it discharged and hit Kimball, killing him instantly.
Stearn originally told police the gun malfunctioned while he was cleaning the weapon.
Bezotte said that Stearn's explanation and the position of the gun didn't match the crime scene, so the department sent the weapon to the Michigan State Crime Scene Lab in Lansing for testing.
"We found that the story that we were being told couldn't have happened that way," Bezotte said. "We re-interviewed people and the stories changed and that's what ultimately led to the charges."
According to the Livingston Daily, Stearn admitted to intentionally pointing an AK-47 at Kimball, and it accidentally fired.
Stearn now faces sentencing on April 4 in Livingston County Circuit Court.
He could face up to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and an additional two years on the felony firearm charge.