Fourth District Judge Pat Owen told Gregory Shain on Friday he was shocked by Shains recklessness.
As someone familiar with gun safety, there was no way Shain should have ever pointed a gun at his friend Gary Arlen Jr., put the gun in Arlens mouth or pulled the trigger no matter what his friend asked him to do Owen said.
It didnt matter that the men were dry-firing the gun earlier that night or that Shain didnt see Arlen re-load it.
This could have so easily been avoided. All of this pain and suffering was needless, and should have never happened, Owen told Shain at his sentencing hearing for involuntary manslaughter.
You made the decision to pull the trigger ... you didnt clear it (the gun). You didnt make it safe.
You caused the most serious, lasting and permanent harm possible. This is a terrible, terrible tragedy.
The 23-year-old will have to spend up to a year in the Ada County Jail with no work release or other programs for the first six months of his 10-year felony probation.
Shain pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in January.
Shain told Boise police he thought the handgun gun he was pointing at Arlen Jr., wasnt loaded when he shot and killed him last March 19.
The pair, good friends and co-workers, had been goofing around with the gun earlier that night, and dry-fired it several times while drinking a few beers.
Investigators later figured out Arlen was very intoxicated on hydrocone a pharmaceutical narcotic painkiller that night and had a .18 blood alcohol content percentage level, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving in Idaho.
Shain, who was not tested, told police he only had a few beers that night.
Shain told police he was leaving Arlens home when his friend told him to do it place the gun in his mouth and fire. Shain, who had removed a clip from the gun earlier that night, did it.
The shot severed Arlens spinal cord, killing him instantly. Prosecutors say Shain texted his girlfriend first before telling Arlens parents what happened.
Some (of Arlens) family members think this is murder, Owen said. I am satisfied this is an accidental shooting.
Several of Arlens friends and family cried while listening to his sisters and mothers victim impact statements.
I miss (Gary) so much, Barb Arlen, Gary Jr.s mom, told Owen. Ill never forget him. I dont know why this happened. One day, hopefully, Ill know why.
Shain appeared lucid during Fridays hearing but spent much of the time with his head down, looking at the ground.
Defense attorney Mark Manweiler says Arlen reloaded the .45-caliber gun without Shains knowledge that night, replacing an oversized-clip that Shain took out earlier with a different clip that fit flush with the bottom of the handgrip.
Manweiler also said Arlen appeared to be enamored with the idea of suicide, mentioning it several times in his journal. Police also found pictures of Ernest Hemingways grave and Jim Morrison on Arlens cell phone. Manweiler said no one will ever know why Arlen handed Shain a loaded gun that night.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr