A Georgia teenager who shot his 8-year-old cousin dead last summer pleaded guilty to the shooting on Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Charlie Oliver, 17, will serve ten years in prison for shooting Solomon Zellner in the face with a 9-mm handgun. The Journal-Constitutional reports that it is not clear where he got the gun.
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Oliver was 16-years-old on July 6, 2011 when he shot his cousin. He claims the shooting was an accident. Here is more on the case, according to the Journal-Constitution:
According to police reports, Oliver said his finger caught on the trigger of a 9-mm handgun while playing in the room he shared with Zellner.
It remains unclear where Oliver got the gun.
Oliver was charged as an adult with felony murder and aggravated assault, but with the plea deal he avoids a possible sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole — a sentence that would have given him a minimum of 30 years in prison.
He will not receive the state’s first offender status, authorities said.
A life sentence seemed a very real possibility until just Tuesday morning, as Oliver rejected a plea deal earlier this month, despite the insistence of Zellner’s mother, Angela Ramos.
Ramos, who had allowed Oliver to move into her home in an effort to help the troubled teen, had convinced prosecutors to reduce the charges against him.
Zellner’s mother hopes that the reduced sentence will allow Oliver to reclaim his life once he leaves prison.
“I don’t want to see him lose his whole life,” Angela Ramos said of Oliver in a May interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s still a child himself.”