Family Of Tulsa Man Calls 20 Year Sentence "Too Harsh"
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - "It wasn't just pick up a gun and shoot. It was an accident, a tragic one, horrible and I wish it would have never, ever happened," said Jeremiah Peer’s Aunt Darcy Owen.
A man is the Tulsa County jail just days into a 20-year sentence for killing one of his friends.
He pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge, but his family tells News On 6 his sentence is too harsh for what they believe was an accident. Jeremiah Peer will spend more than 6,000 days behind bars before he is eligible for parole. His family says the guilt he feels knowing he’s responsible for his friend’s death will last a lifetime.
When the shooting happened in August of 2017 Darcy Owen was next door.
“They were all hysterical and I said well what are you doing, and he said we are taking them to the hospital because the ambulance isn't here yet," said Owen.
She says she saw her nephew Jeremiah Peer and several others, with 17-year-old Christian Jones- who had been shot and she immediately tried to help.
"I just kept trying to comfort Christian and do the best I could, to try to save him," said Owen.
Christian died at the scene. In court documents, Peer says he and Christian were horsing around and pointing guns at each other. Peer says in a statement he unloaded his gun, but when he pointed and fired at Christian, it went off.
“It was senseless, it was reckless on both of their parts. It could've just as easily been Jeremiah laying there on the ground," said Owen.
Prosecutors say details from Peer's story changed several times. Peer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
“One of the reasons he did the blind plea, is so that Christian's family wouldn't have to go through the trial," said Owen.
Jeremiah's family says he was known to go out of his way to help people and would have never purposely pointed a loaded gun at his friend. They say this tragedy has ruined the lives of every person and family involved and no one will ever be the same.
“Our hearts break for his family more than I think they will ever know," said Owen.
Christian's mom tells me she understands Jeremiah's family is in pain but says they will get to see their son again and-- Christian is gone forever.
You can find the link to the interview News On 6 had with Christian’s mom here - INTERVIEW