Gregory M. Shain is set to enter a plea later this month on a charge of involuntary manslaughter after Ada County prosecutors say he fatally shot his friend in the face earlier this year
The 22-year-old Shain told Boise police he thought a gun he was pointing at his friend Gary Dean Arlen Jr., 23, wasnt loaded when he shot and killed him March 19, according to court records obtained by the Idaho Statesman.
Boise police arrested the 22-year-old Shain that night. On Thursday, an Ada County Magistrate Judge determined there was enough evidence a crime occurred to move the case to 4th District Court, where felonies are tried. Shain is now set to be arraigned on June 26 in front of 4th District Judge Pat Owen. If Shain enters a not guilty plea at that time, a jury trial will be scheduled for later this year.
Defense attorney Mark Manweiler told a judge Thursday the charge was not appropriate since Shain made sure to unload the gun before he and Arlen were handling it that night. Manweiler said Arlen reloaded the gun without Shains knowledge, and when Shain fired the fatal shot, he thought the gun was not loaded.
Manweiler also said Arlen was taking narcotic prescription medication that night saying Shain had a photo on his cell phone of Arlen using a needle to shoot up. Shain told police that when he pointed the gun, which he thought was unloaded, at Arlen, his friend put his mouth around the barrel of the the gun and said do it, according to court testimony Thursday.
Shain told police he and Arlen had dry-fired the gun before. Prosecutors say Shain had to know that Arlen re-loaded the gun and that his actions clearly met the burden of proof for involuntary manslaughter
Manweiler said Shain had three 16 ounce cans of Coors Light that night over a period of three hours. A Boise police officer who testified during Thursdays preliminary hearing said while he detected a slight odor of alcohol on Shain the night of March 19, he did not order a drug or alcohol test for Shain because he did not appear intoxicated.
Shain and Arlen were friends who went to high school together and worked at the same hospital at the time of the fatal shooting.
Shain posted a $150,000 bond and is out of jail while he waits for his case to go to trial.
Boise police originally charged Shain with voluntary manslaughter the unlawful killing of a human being upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. But prosecutors changed that charge to the lesser count of involuntary manslaughter. Idaho law allows that charge when the operation of any firearm or deadly weapon in a reckless, careless or negligent manner produces death.
Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.