Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ohio Man Gets One Year for Accidental Shooting Death

Local news reports

A New Philadelphia-area man will spend the next year in prison for the accidental shooting death of Max McGuire on Sept. 19, 2011.

Seth M. Smith, 21, was sentenced during an emotional hearing Thursday in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court.

A county grand jury indicted Smith on one count of reckless homicide with a gun specification. In July, he changed his plea to no contest and was found guilty by Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos.

Investigators said McGuire was shot once at close range with a high-powered rifle he owned. Smith had not checked to see if the rifle was loaded before he pulled the trigger.

McGuire, 23, died after being shot in the head, according to county Coroner Dr. James Hubert.

New Philadelphia police have said it appeared “that this was a nonintentional shooting” that occurred while several people were at McGuire’s residence.

During the hearing, Smith emotionally repeated how sorry he is. He didn’t explain the details of what happened that night. He indicated he was aware there would be punishment and he was willing to accept what the judge decided, Ernest said. Six people appeared on behalf of Smith.

Justice would have been better served if the entire prison sentence had been suspended. I don't see what good it does putting a guy who is obviously repentant in jail.

Yet, this is a better outcome than the many "accidents" we see that go unpunished.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. We gun owners who comment here generally agree that it's stupid and probably criminally negligent to point a gun at someone when that person isn't threatening our lives. What we see here is your overall goal--get guns out of the hands of private citizens. Once that has been achieved, we will be free to do whatever we wish to each other.

    1. No, the goal is to get guns out of the hands of those unfit to handle them safely.

    2. Then who do you think is unfit to handle firearms? I agree that people who have already proven themselves to be dangerous to others don't deserve firearms (felons, among others). Who gets to make the rules that strips part of the population of their rights for something that they haven't done, and have given no indication that they might do?

    3. It's not stripping people of their rights for something they haven't done yet. These are people who have done something negligent with a gun. They should lose the right to own guns and repeat their stupidity.