BELFAST, Maine — A teenager accused of killing his friend with a shotgun in February was indicted Friday by the Waldo County Grand Jury on a charge of manslaughter.
The shooting began as horseplay, according to a police affidavit filed after Luke Bryant was arrested on Feb. 23 in connection with the death of 19-year-old Tyler Seaney.
The friends had been at Bryant’s apartment on the remote Dolloff Road in Knox on the night of Feb. 19, when Bryant apparently decided he wanted to scare Seaney.
He meant to “dry-fire” the Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, he later told investigating police. But the weapon was loaded, and shotgun pellets ripped through Seaney’s neck.
Seaney’s 17-year-old girlfriend was in the apartment but did not witness the shooting, according to the affidavit. She heard a bang and saw Bryant running down the hall toward her.
“You gotta come here. I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was loaded,” Bryant allegedly told her, according to the Maine State Police affidavit.
Bryant called 911 and told the dispatcher that he had accidentally shot his friend with a shotgun. When police and emergency responders arrived at the apartment, Bryant was performing CPR on Seaney. The victim, who lived in both Glenburn and Belfast while waiting to start basic training for the U.S. Army, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The manslaughter charge is a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
After his arrest, Bryant was originally held on $250,000 cash bail, but that was reduced to $25,000 cash or $100,000 surety during his first court appearance.
He was released from Two Bridges Regional Jail on Feb. 28 and has retained defense attorney Christopher MacLean of Camden.
According to the bail conditions set by Judge John Kennedy, Bryant may not use or possess firearms or dangerous weapons and also must submit to random searches for the same.
One of Bryant’s relatives told the BDN in February that the teen has a “fascination” with guns and that his apartment was stocked with guns and ammunition. The relative also said he was certain the shooting was a reckless accident.