Louisiana man gets weekends in jail in friend’s shooting
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana man has been sentenced to probation and weekends in jail in the accidental fatal shooting of his longtime friend.
Christopher Lemley, 31, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide last month in the death of Jonathan Smith, 31, news outlets reported. An Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge sentenced him Tuesday to two years of probation, 15 weekends in jail and one year of house arrest on the charge.
As Lemley heard his sentence, the widow of Jonathan Smith rose and embraced him, according to an account from The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.
“I know that you loved him,” Portia Smith said.
“I wish it had been me,” Lemley responded.
Jonathan Smith and his brother-in-law had met up with Lemley at a gathering in New Orleans in September, police said at the time. Lemley, who had been drinking, was admiring another man’s pistol when he inadvertently pulled the trigger, striking Jonathan Smith in the head, according to police documents. Jonathan Smith died less than a week later in a hospital.
Portia Smith was 8-months pregnant with a baby girl at the time. She had initially sought the maximum sentence for Lemley — up to five years in prison — before changing her mind, The Times-Picayune said.
The judge also ordered Lemley to serve 500 hours of community service, intended to be spent educating people about the importance of gun safety, as well as pay $350 a month in restitution for the next 17 years to help support Portia Smith’s now 4-month-old daughter’s education, the newspaper said.