- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana man has been convicted of reckless homicide in the shooting death of his 20-year-old nephew, despite his defense attorney maintaining the shooting was accidental.

Clark County prosecutors had charged 35-year-old Jeremy Swank with murder for the December 2013 death of Michael Metcalf at the home they shared in Jeffersonville.

Metcalf’s half sister, Melissa Miller of Louisville, Kentucky, said after Monday’s verdict that she’s disappointed he wasn’t convicted of the more serious charge in her son’s death and that Swank “has never given us a straight story.”

Swank had faced up to 65 years in prison if convicted of murder. He now faces a prison term of two years to eight years. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Miller said she hopes the judge will give Swank as long a sentence as possible.

“I’m not going to get the sentence that I’m looking for out of this,” Miller told the News and Tribune (http://bit.ly/ZFUYg9 ). “A life for a life, the only thing I can hope is that God sees that through.”

Swank’s attorneys said the shooting was accidental as the handgun malfunctioned and fired four times, with one bullet hitting Metcalf in the forehead.

Authorities had no evidence of an argument between the two men before the shooting. Police said Swank put the gun in Metcalf’s hand before officers arrived at the home.

Defense attorney Dave Mosley said he believed the jury reached a fair verdict.

“I was afraid they might come back with a murder (conviction),” he said. “That would have been wrong, I think.”

Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull argued that the gun was functioning properly and that Swank fired with intent.

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., http://www.newsandtribune.com

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