GRAND HAVEN (WWJ/AP) – A judge has ordered a three- to 17-year prison sentence for a 19-year-old western Michigan man who authorities say accidentally killed a teenage friend while they played with a gun.
Richard M. Usher pleaded no contest in September to manslaughter in the death of 16-year-old Brandon Kuiper. He was sentenced earlier this week to serve one to 15 years for manslaughter, plus an additional two years for having a firearm while committing a felony.
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. He died two days later.
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, which is owned by Usher’s grandfather. Beer, liquor and marijuana also were found in the basement.
Usher and Kuiper attended the same alternative high school, Allendale Public Schools Superintendent Dan Jonker said.
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