Charges were filed against a 27-year-old Weber County man who accidentally fatally shot his 17-year-old brother, Cameron Bryce Charlton, during a weekend camping trip.
Eric Charlton, of West Haven, was charged Friday in 4th District Court with one count of manslaughter, a second-degree felony; reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor; and carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a Class B misdemeanor.
Eric Charlton, his 17-year-old brother and another teen were drinking alcohol together prior to the fatal Memorial Day shooting in Yuba State Park in Juab County, police have reported.
The shooting occurred at about 3 a.m. Monday, as the two brothers and a 16-year-old were sitting around the campfire drinking, according to Juab County jail booking documents.
Eric Charlton who had served in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps told police he had been showing his brother and the 16-year-old different firearm techniques with a .45-caliber handgun.
Charlton said he initially removed the magazine from the gun, and even pulled the slide back to show the teens the weapon was empty, before demonstrating the techniques, according to the booking documents.
Charlton told police he then replaced the magazine, but did not remember charging the gun's chamber with a live round. Charlton said he put the gun on the ground and was talking to his brother about trust. He then picked up the gun, swung it toward his brother and it went off, hitting the teen in the left temple, according to the documents.
The 16-year-old, who witnessed the shooting, told police that they all had been drinking beer, and that Eric Charlton also had been drinking rum, according to the documents.
Despite a determination by police that the shooting was not intentional, Charlton was booked into jail on suspicion of manslaughter.
During a jail interview, Charlton told police he did not intend to shoot his brother. Police observed during the interview that Charlton "appeared to be very distraught about this incident."
Charlton is scheduled to appear in court on the charges June 19.