Investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) have charged the father of the young boy shot and killed at his home in Bennettsville New Year’s Eve with unlawful conduct towards a child.
The warrant for the arrest of Justin Curtis Brueger, 30, says the 8-year-old child faced “unreasonable risk of harm affecting his life.” Brueger was cleaning his gun when the incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. at 806 Fayetteville Ave., according to police.
The investigation determined the “defendant did unintentionally shoot and take the life of his child while unsafely cleaning his rifle,” said Special Agent David C. Weaver, a SLED investigator.
According to the investigation, the boy, Easton, was shot in the stomach and died shortly afterward at the hospital.
Brueger appeared before Judge Robert Stanton of Bennettsville and was booked at the Marlboro County Detention Center. He was, however, granted bond and released from custody. The case will be prosecuted by the Fourth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
According to Thom Berry, public relations officer for SLED, unlawful conduct towards a child is a felony with penalties of no more than 10 years in prison, or a fine to be determined by the court, or both.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.