Prosecutor: Meridian teen initially told police his friend shot himself

The 18-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a 15-year-old boy with what he thought was an unloaded handgun at first told Meridian police the victim killed himself. So did other witnesses.

“Additional investigation led detectives to further information, and ultimately the defendant admitted shooting the victim,” Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Kai Wittwer said Monday afternoon during an arraignment for David Provencio.

Tristan Fenton died Saturday evening after Provencio took out a Glock 19 handgun, pointed it at Fenton’s head and pulled the trigger, Wittwer said. Police said the gun belonged to Provencio, who was unemployed and living with the victim’s family.

Provencio and Fenton were with several other people in a bedroom at the dead boy’s residence in the 2300 block of East Franklin Road in Meridian. Police said they were drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before Fenton was shot at about 9:30 p.m.

Provencio, who is being held at the Ada County Jail on $500,000 bail, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of a deadly weapon. Ada County Magistrate Henry Boomer, in reading the criminal complaint, told Provencio he is accused of being “reckless, careless or negligent” in the shooting of Fenton.

An attorney representing the Ada County Public Defender’s Office during Provencio’s video arraignment asked Boomer to set bail at $25,000. Wittwer asked for $500,000 bail, based on the seriousness of the shooting and because Provencio has an aggravated assault case pending in Canyon County. Details on that case were not immediately available Monday.

“I can’t in good conscience set a bond that low when there are pending felony charges in Canyon County alleging crimes of violence,” Boomer told the public defender.

If convicted, Provencio could face up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and an additional 15 years for use of a deadly weapon.

After the shooting, Fenton was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two other adults were in the residence at the time of the shooting, along with several children, police said.

The shooting is similar to a shooting that took place in Caldwell in March in which a boy died. Officials believe the boy was handling a stolen gun at a friend’s home when the gun went off.