HOWELL (WWJ/AP) – A man has been sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for the shooting death of a friend at a Livingston County gun club.

Twenty-year-old Jessce Stearn received his punishment on Thursday in Livingston County Circuit Court after pleading to second-degree murder and felony firearms in an agreement with prosecutors. He was given credit for more than 300 days served.

Stearn was charged in the June 2012 death of 19-year-old Charles Kimball at the Livingston Conservation and Sports Association gun range in Brighton Township, about 35 miles northwest of Detroit.

Stearn told the court Thursday that it was a “preventable tragedy” and that he accepted responsibility for his actions. The victim’s brother, Justin Kimball, told the court that although justice has been done “it brings no relief, no break from the grief we feel.”

Stearn initially told investigators the replica AK-47 he was using jammed and when he tried to clear it, the gun discharged accidentally and Kimball was shot in the head. Authorities say he died instantly.

Stearn was later charged with murder after prosecutors said he told other inmates that he shot Kimball because of an unpaid debt.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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