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St. John says gun went off accidentally

Police provide more details in fatal shooting in Woodward Township

LOCK HAVEN — Brian St. John III, 19, admitted to police that he was holding the Taurus Judge revolver and fired the shot that killed his friend Jakob L. Haines, 21, of Beech Creek. But the defendant also said they “were messing around with the gun when it went off,” according to the criminal complaint filed by state police at Lamar.

The complaint provides more details in the fatal shooting of Haines last Friday night during a gathering at the St. John residence at 330 Brewery Hollow Road.

Haines suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the center of his chest and was pronounced dead at the scene by Clinton County Coroner Zach Hanna, who said the cause of death was “a close contact gunshot would to the chest” and the manner of death was homicide.

St. John has been charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. He is being held in the Clinton County Correctional Facility without bail.

Trooper Timothy Wright, the investigating officer, released the following statement of facts concerning the case.

“On Feb. 26 at 8:31 p.m., PSP received a call of a shooting at 330 Brewery Hollow Road, Woodward Township. Upon officers arriving, it was learned that Brian St. John III was having a gathering at his residence. Several people, including his friend, Jakob Lee Haines were present for said gathering. At some point during the evening, St. John III removed a Taurus Judge revolver from a kitchen drawer, pointed it at Haines and pulled the trigger. Haines sustained a gunshot wound to the center of his chest which resulted in his death.

“When officer Stephen Nero and officer Matthew Rickard of the Lock Haven City Police Department arrived at the scene, St. John III was kneeling over the victim and applying pressure to the chest. Officer Nero told St. John III to leave the residence and wait outside. Officer Nero went outside and asked St. John III what happened. St. John III stated they were inside the house messing around with the gun and it went off. Officer Nero asked who was holding the gun and St. John III said he was.

“Upon Trooper Homan’s arrival to the scene St. John III was located outside the residence. Trooper Homan observed clothing of St. John III was saturated with blood. Upon confirming with Lock Haven City police on scene, Trooper Oman was advised that St. John III was the alleged perpetrator of the shooting. Trooper Homan took St. John III into custody.

“Trooper James Nestico and Trooper Jamesan Keeler interviewed the witnesses that observed the shooting. Kylea Noel Yerger, Ross Glossner and Robby Bowmaster were interviewed separately at PSP Lamar. During these interviews, all three witnesses related that they observed Brian St. John III point a gun at Jakob Lee Haines, discharge the gun, which resulted in Haines injuries.”

Charges against St. John III include:

— Criminal Homicide, Felony 1– In that the defendant did intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently cause the death of another human being by criminal homicide (murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.)

— Aggravated Assault — Attempts to cause injury with extreme indifference, Felony 1 — in that the defendant did attempt to use or did intentionally, knowlingly or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to Jakob Lee Haines under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, that is to say the defendant did remove a Taurus Judge revolver from the kitchen drawer, point it at the victim and pulled the trigger. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to the center of his chest and died from his injuries.

— Aggravated Assault — Attempts to cause or causes bodily injury with deadly weapon, Felony 2 — in that the defendant did attempt to cause or did intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to Jakob Lee Haines with a deadly weapon, namely a Taurus Judge revolver, that is to say the defendant did remove the Taurus Judge revolver from a kitchen drawer, point it at the victim and pulled the trigger. The victim sustained a gunshot would to the chest and died from his injury.

— Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2 — in that the defendant did recklessly engage in conduct which placed or may have placed Jakob Lee Haines in danger of death or serious bodily injury, that is to say the defendant did remove a Taurus Judge revolver from a kitchen drawer, point it at the victim and pulled the trigger. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to the center of his chest and died from his injury.”

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