Morgan Jarvi was charged Tuesday with second-degree unintentional murder in the shooting death last week of a 14-year-old Augusta girl.
“It is our position this was a tragic accident,” Alice Osburn, Jarvi’s court-appointed lawyer, told Judge Charles Hart during her client’s first appearance in Butler County District Court.
Jarvi is accused of the unintentional killing during a reckless act “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
If convicted, he could face between 9 and 42 years in prison.
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Andrea Young was shot and killed during a party Friday night where teenagers had been drinking, Augusta police said.
Police had said Jarvi was showing a gun at the party at his home, when it discharged, hitting the girl. The youths had been invited to Jarvi’s house by his teenage sister, Osburn said.
Jarvi, a sheet metal worker, was also charged with the misdemeanor of hosting minors consuming alcohol.
This wasn’t the first time, Jarvi had been involved with minors and alcohol, prosecutor Darrin Devinney said in court.
Devinney said Jarvi, 25, had a conviction in 2006 for providing alcohol to minors. He also had a previous misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence, Devinney told the judge while asking for an increase in Jarvi’s bond.
Jarvi had been booked into jail suspected of involuntary manslaughter with a bond set at $50,000.
Devinney said in court that Jarvi had admitted to shooting the teen, drawing an objection from Osburn. Hart sustained the objection.
Hart also denied the request to increase the bond, after Osburn told the judge that Jarvi couldn’t afford to post it.
If Jarvi does post bond and get out of jail, Hart ordered him to have no contact with any of the witnesses — a routine condition. But Hart made an exception for family members.
Hart added that Jarvi could not talk to his mother or his estranged wife until Friday, after police had a chance to interview them.