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Trial For Teen In Accidental Shooting Death Of Friend

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GRAND HAVEN (WWJ/AP) - A July trial has been scheduled for an 18-year-old accused of accidentally killing his 16-year-old friend while they played with a gun.

Richard M. Usher has waived his arraignment in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven on manslaughter and firearms charges, and a judge has scheduled his trial to start July 9.

Authorities say Usher shot Brandon Kuiper in the face March 6 in the basement of Usher’s home in Ottawa County’s Tallmadge Township home, west of Grand Rapids.

The shooting followed talk about a game of “Russian roulette,” Ottawa County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Bennett said.

Four other males, ages 17 to 19, were in the basement when the shooting occurred. No one else was hurt.

“They were having a little get-together in the downstairs bedroom,” Bennett said. “They were … playing around with the handgun.”

Police recovered a .22-caliber revolver at the house. Bennett said the gun is owned by Usher’s grandfather. Beer, liquor and marijuana also were found in the basement.

Investigators also learned “there were previous incidents of this type of horseplay,” Bennett said.

Usher and Kuiper attended the same alternative high school, Allendale Public Schools Superintendent Dan Jonker said.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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