Man pleads in accidental shooting death of friend

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A Carson City man pleaded guilty Monday in District Court to charges of involuntary manslaughter and illegally handling a firearm in the shooting death of his roommate in August.

Anthony Joseph Kelich, 61, faces one to four years in prison on the involuntary-manslaughter charge and one to six years on the weapons charge when sentenced on Jan. 3.

A request by Kelich's attorney, Mihaela Neagos, for Kelich's release was denied.

"My client did everything in his power to help his wounded friend. He died because of lack of medical attention," she said.

Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner said he was opposed to Kelich's release.

"We understand that charges of involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing. But nonetheless it's a killing of a human being. Mr. Scott died as a result of being shot in the face by the defendant," said Gardner. "The defendant was a prohibited person who shouldn't have been touching firearms at all to begin with."

Kelich has a felony drunken driving conviction from 2006 that prohibited him from handling a firearm.

According to court documents, on Aug. 20 Kelich was with his roommates Mike Scott, 46, and Kennith Johnson, 47, firing Johnson's rifle in the hills of East Carson City. When Johnson handed Kelich a loaded rifle, Kelich tried to put it inside the truck and it fired, striking Scott in the jaw.

Investigators said Johnson fled in a panic, leaving the two men in the hills 8 miles from Deer Run Road throughout the night.

It would be at least eight hours before Johnson drove his pickup truck to the courthouse parking lot the next morning and called 911, said Sheriff Ken Furlong.

Johnson's report came just moments after an exhausted Kelich walked out of the hills after Scott died, reports indicate.

"Kelich said he stayed with the victim for eight or nine hours before the victim died of his injuries," according to the arrest report.

A tearful Tony Scott, wife of victim Mike Scott, was in the court for Kelich's pleading Monday. When his attorney broached the subject of Kelich's release on his own recognizance, Tony Scott angrily left the courtroom.

"I can't believe they were asking for him to be released," she said afterward. "He killed Mike."


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