(Walhalla, SC)--------------------------------------The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing today that 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 last week of 62 year old Danny Andrew Smith.
“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.”
Sheriff Crenshaw goes on to say that under South Carolina law, juveniles under the age of 10 cannot be detained so both juveniles have been remanded to the custody of the parents as the judicial proceedings continue.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation and due to that fact, no information will be released that will identify the juveniles in this case. At this time, no information about motive or where the firearm was obtained will be released due to the ongoing investigation and any additional details will be released as conditions and developments warrant. The weapon, a .22 caliber rifle, has been recovered and examined by the SLED forensics lab in Columbia.
According to a Sheriff’s Office release from last Thursday, deputies responded to 1490 Coffee Road on Wednesday evening of last week after Mr. Smith’s wife went to the property looking for her husband after not being able to make contact with him. Deputies responded to the scene and located Mr. Smith slumped over the steering wheel, unresponsive, on a tractor that was still running but had gone down an embankment striking a tree.
Based upon evidence obtained during the investigation, and from the autopsy, it was determined that Mr. Smith had sustained a single gunshot wound to the back.