WEST HAVEN, Weber County — A man has been charged in the shooting death of his 17-year-old brother at Yuba Lake State Park.
Eric Wayne Charlton, 27, was charged Friday with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor, according to documents filed in 4th District Court.
Charlton and his younger brother, Cameron Bryce Charlton, were camping with friends and family on May 28 when Cameron Charlton was fatally shot. According to court documents the two brothers, along with a friend, were sitting around a campfire drinking around 3 a.m. when Eric Charlton began demonstrating firearm techniques with gun unloaded. Police say Eric Charlton then re-inserted the gun's magazine and the three men sat talking.
According to the charging documents, at one point Eric Charlton made the comment "You're my brother, you know you can trust me," pointed the gun at Cameron Charlton's temple and fired. Cameron Charlton was pronounced dead at the scene.
Eric Charlton told police he put the magazine back in the handgun but didn't remember charging the weapon with a live round in the chamber. Deputies said he was extremely distraught over the shooting.
"As you can imagine, this has been very emotional for the family," Juab County Attorney Jared Eldridge said. "On the one hand, they've lost a son. On the other, there is a son who is looking at potential charges, and that is very difficult for them to come to grips with."
Eldridge said the decision to charge Eric Charlton was not made lightly. He said that ultimately, prosecutors felt charges were justified.
Eric Charlton is currently free on bail. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in jail.
Contributing: Peter Samore
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