Boy, 15, admits killing in Russian roulette game

Friend, 18, was shot by accident, he says in juvenile court hearing

April 26, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 15-year-old boy admitted yesterday in Baltimore juvenile court that he accidentally shot and killed a friend during a game of Russian roulette last month.

The boy quietly admitted to manslaughter and handgun possession charges in the killing of Terron Braxton, 18.

Admitting to charges in juvenile court is the equivalent of pleading guilty in adult court. In exchange for admitting to manslaughter and handgun possession, prosecutors dropped a second-degree murder charge. The Sun does not report the names of children charged with crimes as juveniles.

The boy and Braxton went to a house in the 1500 block of Myrtle Ave. on March 25 and began playing with a revolver that they had obtained from another friend, said Assistant State's Attorney Janet S. Hankin.

The friends had played Russian roulette before - with an unloaded gun, Hankin said. But on that March night, the 15-year-old emptied the gun of all its bullets except for one. He then made sure the bullet was not in the chamber, pointed it to his head and pulled the trigger.

The boy handed the gun to Braxton, who refused to accept it, Hankin said.

The boy was holding the revolver it in his lap when he pulled the trigger, hitting Braxton in the chest, Hankin said.

Braxton of the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave. died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Disposition of the case is scheduled for next month.

The boy's attorney, Stephen Bergman, refused to comment as he left the courtroom.

Hankin said the plea deal was "the fairest thing all around, given the facts the state could have proved." She said no charges have been filed against the friend who gave the gun to the 15-year-old.

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