- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WINNER, S.D. (AP) - The sole witness to the shooting of a Pierre teenager told the jury deciding the fate of the man accused in the slaying that he no longer thinks the incident was an accident.

The account came Wednesday during the first day of testimony in the trial of 18-year-old Braiden McCahren, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the December 2012 shooting death of 16-year-old Dalton Williams. McCahren was 16 at the time of the shooting at his home but is being tried as an adult.

The witness, whom the court has asked the media to identify by the initials T.Y., testified before the jury of five men and nine women for about 2½ hours.

When pressed by defense attorney Clint Sargent about his initial testimony that the shooting was an accident and occurred only after he, McCahren, Williams were “messing around,” T.Y. said he doesn’t “see it that way anymore,” the station KCCR-AM reported Wednesday.

T.Y. testified that he was scared when McCahren loaded a shell into a 12-gauge shotgun, pointed it at him twice and pulled the trigger. He said he tried to leave McCahren’s house on two occasions. The third time he attempted to leave, T.Y. said, Williams was between him and McCahren, the gun discharged and struck the victim.

A forensic pathologist testifying for the prosecution said Williams was struck twice by the same shotgun blast. Dr. Donald Habbe told jurors that the bullet initially hit Williams in the front of the right wrist as it was raised in a defensive posture. The shot then exited through the back of the wrist and went into the chest.

T.Y., who was also 16 when the incident happened, admitted he was in shock after the shooting and didn’t remember some details. The witness, victim and McCahren were high school friends.

The trial in Tripp County is scheduled to last through next week. McCahren could face life in prison if convicted.

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Information from: KCCR-AM, https://www.todayskccr.com/

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