Man doubts he can ever forgive himself for younger brother's death

'It's been an everyday hell' since the shooting, Eric Charlton says

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  • Clydesdale Tooele, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    Just a tragic accident. They can happen to the best of people. Sad. But history is full of sadness. You just have to put it behind you and move on.

  • MPeace Provo, Utah
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:02 a.m.

    Unfortunately there are those that will use this this as a reason to ban guns and get rid of the second amendment to the Constitution.

    Instead Ammunition needs developed for use around people that will not kill them, but will only temporarily disable them and actual killing ammunition needs reserved to use for game hunting. If this sort of thing were used in this gun the brother would still be alive, as definitely it would have been the only thing he would have used that night in that gun.

    Who in the whole Deseret News reading audience has the money and the inventive ability to develop this sort of ammunition? There is a dire need for it.

    It would save our Constitution.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:00 p.m.

    As soon as alcohol enters the equation, all common sense goes out the window. It couldn't be counted as an "accident" because of the impairment. Had he not chosen to drink, circumstances would be different and his brother would still be alive. Hopefully, his remorse will cause him to change his life.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    I found this story very sad but I am happy to read he is realizing his fault in this tragedy. The question I ask is....does he realize how important it is that he never take another drink of alcohol? If he does have a drinking problem that needs to be addressed before he can completely forgive himself. I'm hoping he will not be one of those reckless drinkers who have admitted what they did was wrong and then uses this as an excuse to continue drinking. His drinking took a precious life and he needs to be reminded of that every day of his life.

  • pasperdu salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    This is a tragic event. I have read a lot about the use of alcohol in this horrible death. But, no one seems to note that this would not have happened if the gun had been left at home. It is not the alcohol that killed him but the gun!

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    Please forgive yourself. The pain may always be there to an extent, but you must forgive yourself. I promise you that your brother does, and I believe he is in pain watching you punish yourself endlessly for what happened. Let him be at peace knowing that you, his brother who he loves so much, will allow yourself forgiveness and peace. Please.

  • Another Perspective Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    I can think of things I have done, which were not well thought out that could have had just as damaging of an effect, but I had the luck that it didn't turn out bad.

    I think we all do stupid things but most of us have better fortune than this poor man.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    I'll go one further. Drinking and anything don't mix...

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    I admire him .he is in the proses of forgiving him self. He well never forget but he will forgive him self. He done nothing to make him ask others for forgivness. He is a good Man. He is willinf to pay for his actions. Wished more people were like him

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    The choices we make, dictate the lives that we live
    Eric Charlton Is a Man A Man who is willilng to pay the price for his actions.
    Gun safety should be a must at all times on ones mind.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    I'm not sure what is accomplished with the sentencing in this case, or the prosecution, for that matter. Punishment? He's already punishing himself far more than the State can ever do. Deterrence? People in those circumstances that lead to the death aren't even thinking about shooting anyone or the gun going off, so there's nothing that can be deterred by the threat of prison. Respect for the law? No, it doesn't gain respect when judicial resources are wasted on a case where public opinion holds that it's not appropriate to prosecute. And those who do think that it needed to be prosecuted will be whining that he "got off with a slap on the wrist". This would have been much better had it been simply found to be an accidental shooting. Nothing was accomplished by the prosecution except to mess up Eric's life a little bit more and leave him with a criminal record to follow him around.

  • Arizona Rocks Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 28, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    Eric you are a son of God and He has forgiven you. Your dad has immediately forgiven you. Eric you need to forgive yourself and let the healing peace of Jesus Christ bathe your spirit and mind and body. Jesus told us to cast our burdens at His feet and He will give you rest unto your soul. Put this burden down and allow Jesus Christ to heal you. Look around you at the love of your wife and children and your family and friends and the community folks who supports you. With all of us behind you encouraging you, you will succeed ! Look up and God will Bless You. - this I know.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Jan. 27, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    That is a judge that had taken mercy into account. He could have imposed a far stiffer sentence, but imposed one that dealt with the main specifics - drinking alcohol while in possession of a loaded weapon. I applaud the judge. Eric is already beating himself up for Cameron's death. That is his own sentence he is imposing on himself. It will take time to even come to grips with what happened. It's at his own pace.

    We still have to deal with the consequences of choices. It is through grace and mercy that they are lessened.

    My heart really goes out to this family.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 27, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    I have a hard time believing that prosecution was necessary here. What purpose did it serve? Deterrence. You think he will ever drink while holding a gun again? Retribution. Isn't what he has to live with enough punishment?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 27, 2013 7:37 p.m.


    Forgiving yourself will be the hardest but most important work you have to do.
    As rvalens2 stated, Cameron would not want you to keep grieving for him or spend your life blaming yourself.
    I've heard the best antidote to finding yourself again is to lose yourself. Reach out to help others, look for ways to give back or teach others.

    Sorry for your loss.

  • mytymouse09 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    The 90-day sentence was for carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol, so it was totally appropriate. Nevertheless, this story is such a tragic one. I have shed tears each time I read about this accident that happened last summer. My heart aches for Eric, his parents, his wife and children, as well as for Cameron's friend who was at the scene also. I hope all may heal, and that at some point in time Eric will be able to forgive himself.

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Jan. 27, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    I am reminded of Jesus' parable of the sinful woman brought to him for judgment at the Temple. When asked whether she should be stoned according to the Mosaic Law, the response from Jesus has rung down thru' the tunnels of time to our day: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Jesus personified the God of second chances. There is not one of us who hasn't at some time or another done something stupid which resulted in something bad, even tragic. This young man, right now, needs desperately to feel the Love of Christ - and that love can be expressed by all of us, either directly to him or in prayer. God has indeed given many "second chances" to people in the Bible who were guilty of deliberate murder, not of accidental death. Moses killed an Egyptian guard; David was an accomplice in a murder conspiracy; Saul, later the Apostle Paul was responsible for the deaths of numerous followers of Jesus. Look what God did with them and through them by giving them not just one, but many second chances! May we all reflect that Grace here and now

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    While it was an accident, and I concede no jail time would be appropiate, a life was taken which must be accounted for. I wonder if the judge issued the 90 sentence with that in mind. I suspect a much longer sentence was considered as well.

  • TruetoBlue logan, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    Accidents occasionally lead to really hard things but it was only an accident.

  • philaD Clifton Heights, PA
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    Incredibly tragic story. It sounds like Eric was trying to be responsible and careful, but even when completely sober, guns are not to be treated lightly. Adding alcohol to any activity increases the risks associated with that activity. Unfortunately, events coincided and resulted in an untimely death. I plead with those who own guns to be as safe as possible. Guns are incredible instruments when used properly and I believe everyone should know how to safely handle a firearm. They should be respected as they most certainly are life threatening when handled improperly.

    I'm sorry for your loss Eric. Time heals all wounds. I trust that Cameron is in a much better place than this world though. Honor his life by living your life to the fullest!

    My prayers are with you.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    Btw. I firmly believe is the death penalty, and no second chances.
    But, this guy shouldn't of been sent to jail for this.
    He is already damaged for life. He already knows his mistake.
    But, think about it. Judges let child predators off with less of a sentence.
    This tells you about our legal system.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    I'm Mormon.
    But, lets not start throwing this is why drinking is bad comments.
    Alcohol and guns don't mix. Period.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    Tragic. Lean on a higher power for the support you need.

    Just wondering why Mr. Charlton has to give presentations on the dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol since nowhere in this article did it state he used drugs. I agree it is dangerous as well as using either without the other. Maybe he has to give presentations on the danger of mixing guns and alcohol? More correct would be the danger of handling guns while drinking alcohol.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    Eric, as much as Cameron idolized you, he wouldn't have blamed you for the accident nor would he have wanted you to spend the rest of your life grieving for him. Instead, commit yourself to doing as much good, as you possibly can, to honor the memory of your brother.

    And console yourself in the knowledge, that if you save even one life by passing on your story, you will have redeemed yourself in your brother's eyes.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    These are the kinds of things that happen when people drink. Nothing good comes from drinking. It's tragic.

    I know it was completely unintentional and I know he is a good guy. I wish him and his family all the best.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 27, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    Poor guy is going to need a lot of help and I hope he gets professional counseling. There wouldn't be anything much harder to deal with than that.

  • guitarboy South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    What a very well presented story. Thank you Emiley Morgan. You are a great writer, because you understand writing is about more than just words and grammar.

    I am sorry Eric Charlton, about what happened to Cameron. I do not know if I have ever seen anyone take such a high road of remorse as you have. There are certainly a lot of people who respect you, including me. And we all share the loathing of carelessness about mistakes that hurt others, including yours, and including the mistakes we each have made that have hurt others.

    May we learn to forgive ourselves.

    Eric Charlton, it appears you are not asking for forgiveness. I think you deserve all the support of the community, and more.

    RIP Cameron.