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2 South Carolina Boys, Ages 8 and 9, Facing Involuntary Manslaughter in Shooting Death of 62-Year-Old Farmer

People logo People 7/4/2021 JD Knapp
a close up of a sign: Getty © Provided by People Getty

A tragic death in South Carolina has taken an even more unfortunate turn.

That's because according to the Oconee County Sheriff's Office, two young boys, ages 8 and 9, are about to be charged for their alleged roles in the shooting death of Danny Andrew Smith.

The OCSO filed a petition in S.C. family court on Friday with the intention of formally charging the pair of unidentified minors with involuntary manslaughter after Smith was found shot to death on his family's property outside Walhalla in late June.

The 62-year-old farmer was found dead slumped over a running tractor with a single .22 caliber gunshot wound to the back on the evening of Wednesday, June 23.

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"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," said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw in a release.

a close up of a sign: The Oconee County Sheriff's Office filed a petition in S.C. family court on Friday looking to charge the boys in connection with the death of Danny Andrew Smith © Getty The Oconee County Sheriff's Office filed a petition in S.C. family court on Friday looking to charge the boys in connection with the death of Danny Andrew Smith

"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," the statement continued.

Smith's wife requested law enforcement's help locating her husband when he didn't return home that night. Police eventually located his body on the tractor, crashed into a tree at the bottom of an embankment.

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Police have not offered any motive behind the killing, but the murder weapon, a rifle, has been recovered.

Per South Carolina law, "juveniles under the age of 10 cannot be detained," so both boys are currently in the custody of their parents as the investigation continues.

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