New details about Juab County shooting released

Posted at 5:17 PM, May 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-30 00:52:03-04

The Juab County Sheriff's Office released several 911 calls Tuesday after 17-year-old Cameron Charlton was shot to death on a Memorial Day camping trip. 

Click here to listen to the 911 calls.

Juab County Sheriff investigators say 27-year-old Eric Charlton, Cameron’s older brother, accidentally pulled the trigger, shooting his brother in the head.  The incident happened while the brothers and another teen were sitting around a campfire at Yuba State Park early Monday morning.

According to a probable cause statement, Eric Charlton, who was discharged from the Marines in 2010, was showing off his Colt .45 handgun.  He told investigators he was demonstrating firearm techniques to his brother and a teenage friend.  The three were drinking and talking around a campfire at the Oasis Campground.   Eric Charlton told investigators he pulled the magazine out of the gun and had no idea there was a live round still in it.

According to the probable cause statement, the victim's friend told police the brothers were "talking about trust when Eric picked the gun up and swung it towards Cameron and it went off." The juvenile said Eric was trying to stop the bleeding and gave mouth to mouth breaths to his brother."

In the moments after the fatal shot, frantic 911 calls from family and witnesses poured into Juab County dispatchers.  

"It looks like they were playing with a gun and it went off and he's shot in the head," a witness told a dispatcher.  "I haven't seen him, my husband won't let me go down there but I don't know, I think you've had multiple calls. We really need assistance."

Eric Charlton's wife, Julianne, told police that her brother-in-law wasn't moving at all.

Eric Charlton was booked into the Juab County Jail on suspicion of manslaughter but he is out on bail.  Police and friends say this appears to be an accident.

When deputies arrived to the Yuba State Park campground, Eric Charlton, "had a large amount of blood on his face and hands."  The probable cause statement also reads, "Eric claims he did not intend to shoot his brother and appears to be very distraught about this incident."

The Juab County Attorney says he'll likely make a decision by Friday whether to charge Charlton.  Possible charges range from contributing to the delinquency of a minor to manslaughter.  Since everyone was drinking, investigators are still waiting on toxicology results.

Meanwhile, there's been conflicting information about Charlton's military status.  Friends initially told FOX 13 the Marine was on leave from Afghanistan.  However, the Marine Forces Reserves confirms he was discharged two years ago.