ST. JOHNS (WWJ/AP) – A 20-year-old mid-Michigan man who pleaded no contest in the accidental shooting death of his roommate with a pellet rifle has been sentenced to at least three years in prison.
A judge on Monday sentenced Aaron Feliu of Ovid in Clinton County Circuit Court in St. Johns on a manslaughter charge. Feliu also was ordered to pay more than $15,000 in restitution.
An autopsy determined that 18-year-old David Grant was shot in the back and died in December of internal bleeding.
According to court testimony, Feliu apparently shot the high-power pellet gun when the two were horsing around, after they had smoked synthetic marijuana. One of the men called 9-1-1, saying Grant might have overdosed. Emergency responders believed Grant was having an adverse reaction to the drug, and he died in the ambulance en route to the hospital.
The next day, a medical examiner declared that a pellet tore through Grant’s back, striking his aorta and causing him to bleed to death internally.
While Feliu eventually told police about the shooting, Grant reportedly didn’t mention the incident to emergency responders and it’s not clear if he knew he had been shot. The two men had lived together for only a few months prior to the shooting.
Before being sentenced, Feliu tearfully apologized and said he wished he could switch places with Grant. Feliu originally was charged with second-degree murder.
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