A 15-year-old boy is facing a manslaughter charge in connection to his stepbrother's death — a shooting that initially was reported as accidental.
The boy at first told police that his stepbrother, Jerrad Jacobsen, had accidentally shot himself with a shotgun at they sat in Jacobsen’s bedroom March 18 in Kearns.
But a medical examiner later found that the shot that killed Jacobsen had been fired into the top left side of his head at a downward angle, according to a juvenile court petition released Thursday.
When pressed by police again, the stepbrother allegedly admitted that he was the one who had grabbed the gun, pointed it at Jacobsen and pulled the trigger.
"[He] stated that he thought the shotgun was unloaded," the petition reads, "but the gun went off and J.J. fell over."
Prosecutors on Wednesday charged the youth in juvenile court with second-degree felony manslaughter and third-degree felony obstruction of justice.
He made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon, where he denied the allegations.
Police officials initially called Jacobsen’s death a “tragic accident,” saying it appeared as if he had been playing with a shotgun with his stepbrother and the weapon fired accidentally in his hands. The stepbrother was arrested days later.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not identify youth who are charged with crimes, unless their case is moved to the adult court.