Teen Indicted on Manslaughter Charge in Shooting of Denton Guyer Student

A 17-year-old has been indicted in the shooting death of his best friend, a Denton Guyer High School football player.

Michael Bryce Underwood, 17, was indicted on a charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the death of Nathan Maki.

Maki, an 18-year-old Denton Guyer senior, was fatally shot during a camping trip in Montague County on Aug. 31. Investigators say a rifle held by Underwood discharged, and the bullet struck Maki in the head.

According to the search warrant, Underwood told emergency responders that he was outside the vehicle, taking aim at an animal, when he discharged his weapon and accidentally struck Maki.

Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham had said that the shooting appeared to be a tragic accident, saying Underwood was emotional and visibly upset when deputies arrived. Sheriff Cunningham said at the time that there was no evidence the shooting was intentional.

The district attorney's office had said that the case went before a grand jury according to the office's policy that all unnatural deaths be presented to a grand jury.

"The grand jury was presented all case facts before reaching their decision," Montague County District Attorney Paige Williams said.

Authorities arrested Underwood at the scene of the shooting on suspicion of consumption of alcohol by a minor. He posted bond and was released.

"This is a tragedy for all involved," Williams said. "The lesson for everyone is simple: Introducing alcohol into any situation can affect not only your life, but the lives of your friends and family. Nathan’s friends need to remember him before they think of consuming alcohol."

The district attorney's office said the trial would be scheduled for late fall in 2014 if the case proceeds to trial. If convicted of manslaughter, Underwood could face two to 20 years in prison.

Maki was laid to rest Sept 5. That same night, the Guyer football team honored their teammate by presenting his family with a jersey and a video montage during the game.

For more information: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Teen-Indicted-on-Manslaughter-Charge-in-Shooting-of-Denton-Guyer-Student-227724821.html

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