Charges filed in accidental shooting

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SANDPOINT — An Elmira man has turned himself in on allegations that he accidentally shot a minor in the face while target practicing last spring.

Brandon Guy Bowman is charged with injuring another by discharging a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm due to a prior assault conviction in Washington state, court records show. Bowman made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Thursday.

Judge Tera Harden released Bowman on his own recognizance and Bowman advised the court he will likely retain the services of a private-sector defense counsel, according to court documents.

Bowman, 44, accidentally shot the youth on May 9, 2017, although the injury was initially reported as the result of a motorcycle crash. The child’s mother, however, was unconvinced by that explanation because the boy had no other injuries anywhere else on his body.

The wound was described in court documents as a grazing wound that extended from below his chin to the side of the neck. It measured 7 centimeters long, which translates to about 2.76 inches.

The story, however, unraveled in January, prompting sheriff’s deputies conduct interviews of witnesses and those who understood the boy had been shot accidentally rather than injured in a crash, court records indicate.

Bowman ultimately admitted accidentally shooting the boy — who appears in court documents to be of high school age — when a confronted by a deputy, a probable cause affidavit states. The cover story apparently emerged because Bowman is barred from possessing a weapon due to a 2007 conviction for third-degree assault in Stevens County, the affidavit said.

A preliminary hearing on the felony weapon possession charge is set for Feb. 14 in Bonner County Magistrate Court.

The discharge offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to Idaho Code.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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