OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said a petition has been filed in Family Court in reference to charging an 8 year old and a 9 year old with Involuntary Manslaughter in relation to the shooting death of a man found on a running tractor in Oconee County.
We previously reported that deputies responded to Coffee Rd. last week after a missing man’s wife was looking for her husband after not being able to make contact with him.
62-year-old Danny Andrew Smith was found slumped over the steering wheel of a running tractor. He was unresponsive and had gone down an embankment, striking a tree.
“After a consultation with the Solicitor’s Office, and based on the evidence obtained in our ongoing investigation, we believe that both juvenile males discharged a firearm in a reckless manner in the direction of Mr. Smith who was bush hogging on some family property,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “At this time, it is still undetermined which shot ultimately struck and killed Mr. Smith. However, based upon South Carolina law, the hand of one is the hand of all and that is why Family Court has been petitioned in regards to charging both juveniles with Involuntary Manslaughter.”
Under South Carolina law, juveniles under the age of 10 cannot be detained so both juveniles have been in the custody of the parents as the judicial proceedings continue, the sheriff said.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation and the juveniles’ identities will not be released. The weapon, a .22 caliber rifle, has been recovered and examined by the SLED forensics lab in Columbia.
Based upon evidence obtained during the investigation, and from the autopsy, it was determined that Smith had sustained a single gunshot wound to the back.