Teen pleads guilty in fatal shooting of friend

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — A northern Minnesota teenager has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a friend last fall.

Eighteen-year-old Walter Charwood entered the plea to first-degree manslaughter in Itasca County District Court Tuesday in an agreement with prosecutors. The deal calls for Charwood to serve a year in jail and 15 years of probation.

A criminal complaint says Charwood, the 17-year-old victim and another friend were in Charwood’s bedroom in Squaw Lake last November when Charwood picked up his rifle to go outside and shoot. The third person in the room told investigators Charwood loaded the gun, turned around and it fired, hitting the victim.

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The complaint says Charwood called 911 and later told authorities that the shooting was an accident and that the victim was his best friend.