A 19-year-old Howell man has been formally charged in connection with the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Charles Robert Kimball in June at a Brighton gun range.
Jessce Lincon Stearn was arraigned today on manslaughter and felony firearms counts for the June 30 incident at the Livingston Conservation and Sports Association gun range.
Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte said 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 today."
Stearn is being held on a $250,000 cash bond. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and an additional two years on the felony firearm charge.