Marine Served 20 Years, Was Killed on His Porch

South Carolina's Eason Gravley charged with involuntary manslaughter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2018 12:37 PM CDT
Eason Reid Gravley   (Greenwood County Jail)

(Newser) – A South Carolina teen is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge after a bullet he allegedly aimed at a road sign fatally struck a retired Marine. Police say 17-year-old Eason Gravley fired a gun in Greenwood County around 11:30pm on Oct. 10 but the bullet missed or went through its target, traveling through a wooded area in front of Maj. Joe D. Black Jr.'s home, reports the State. The 48-year-old was sitting on his front porch, his wife and four kids inside, when the bullet hit him in the chest. Though family members attempted CPR, Black died at the scene, per Greenwood's Index-Journal.

Gravley, who lives two miles from the scene and was allegedly shooting at a sign in an intersection near the victim's home, turned himself in on Saturday and was charged with possession of a handgun and involuntary manslaughter, which could bring up to five years behind bars. He was released on a personal recognizance bond (variously reported as $25,000 or $50,000) with conditions requiring a curfew and the removal of all firearms from his home. Ironically, Black appears to have been an excellent marksman; "Expert Pistol Qualification Badges" are listed in Black's Index-Journal obituary among "numerous decorations" during his 20 years as a Marine, which ended with his retirement in 2015. (Meanwhile, a retired Marine is honored.)

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