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14-year-old charged with reckless homicide in shooting death of 11-year-old Nelsonville boy

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says more charges could be filed against others.

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — A 14-year-old boy has been charged with the reckless homicide of his friend after reportedly accidentally shooting him. 

Eli Spangler, 11, was at his friend's house on March 6, according to the police report, when the 14-year-old got a gun out of the cabinet to show it off. The teen told police he had the gun and was showing off the laser and light when he dropped it. He said when he tried to pick it up one-handed, he accidentally grabbed the trigger and hit Spangler in the chest.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says the "reckless behavior" of the teen is believed to be what caused Spangler’s death, and that’s why he was charged in juvenile court.

According to the police report, the teen told police the gun cabinet appeared to be locked, but he believes his dad forgot to change the combination on the lock because it did not fully lock and he was able to pull it open. The teen’s father told police he didn’t know how the boys got into the safe.

“My client views the reckless homicide charges as a significant first step," Michael Fradin, who represents Spangler's family, told 10TV. "We believe that additional charges are warranted here and anticipate knowing more about those soon.”

Blackburn says the teen is expected to appear in juvenile court Tuesday, May 18. He also says the case is still open and more charges could be filed against others.

Spangler's mother spoke exclusively with 10TV about her son and the toll his death has taken on their family. You can read what she has to say here.

RELATED: Ohio mother demands answers after 11-year-old son is shot, killed while staying with friend

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