Stepfather charged with negligence in Jaffray shooting

A 10-year-old boy’s stepfather has been charged with criminal negligence after the boy shot dead a teenager.

  • Oct. 5, 2011 3:00 p.m.

A 10-year-old boy’s stepfather has been charged with criminal negligence after the boy shot dead a teenager.

RCMP announced Tuesday that George Lewis Phillips, 51, has been charged with one count each of criminal negligence causing death and careless storage of a firearm.

Mounties were called to a home in Jaffray on June 16 after they say the 10-year-old accidentally discharged a shotgun. The blast instantly killed 17-year-old Michael Voth.

No charges will be laid against the 10-year-old boy. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, children under the age of 12 cannot be charged with criminal acts.

Mr. Phillips, however, will appear in court in Cranbrook November 9.

Corporal Chris Faulkner, an RCMP spokesman, said the incident was tragic all around.

“There are no winners in this situation, only losers,” he said. “The loss is incredible and immeasurable.”

RCMP said the boy was one of six children and teens hanging out at a house in Jaffray, B.C., on June 16, when the shotgun was discharged. Corporal Faulkner said such incidents are very rare, but completely preventable. He wouldn’t comment on how the child was able to get his hands on the gun, since the matter is before the courts.

Corporal Faulkner said RCMP seized numerous firearms from the home. The 10-year-old is still living in the residence.