There are two views of what happened the night that DeWayne Williams shot and killed a man. According to Assistant Oakland County prosecutor Jason Pernick, Williams is a cold-blooded murder, “a man with no regard for human life.” Williams’ lawyer begs to differ. The murder—sorry, manslaughter, was an accident. The facts, as reported by The Detroit Free Press, are these: “Williams, of Pontiac, shot Brian Bailo, 31, an Orion Township landscaper, at about 11 a.m. on March 9, 2009 as Bailo got out of his Ford 250 pickup truck at the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant on Auburn Road in Pontiac, hoping to get a $5 lunch special. Bailo’s friend, Michael Rathnow, was getting out of the passenger side when Williams walked up, pointed a gun at Bailo and demanded money. Bailo, Rathnow would later recount, said, ‘You’ll have to shoot me first,’ and Williams did.” Yes, but, it was an accident. Apparently.
Defense attorney Toby argued that Williams didn’t know the gun was loaded and only intended to scare Bailo, not shoot him, when he accidentally pulled the trigger.
How many times has TTAG said MAKE SURE THE GUN IS UNLOADED BEFORE HANDLING and NEVER POINT A GUN AT SOMETHING YOU’RE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY? Just because you’re a scumbag doesn’t mean you’re exempt from those rules, you know.
Oh, and if may not matter that much how “accidental” the fatal trigger pull.
If jurors decide Williams killed Bailo in the course of robbing him, even accidentally, they can find him guilty of first degree felony murder under Michigan law.