RUTLAND, Vt. — A judge has declined to dismiss a manslaughter charge against a Vermont man who told his friends a gun was unloaded before it was used to kill one of them.

The Rutland Herald reports that Judge Samuel Hoar ruled Thursday there’s evidence to support a conviction, even though jurors have to sort out differing accounts of what happened.

Police say Jonathan Testa brought a stolen gun into a car where friends were drinking in December 2016 in Poultney, telling the others the gun wasn’t loaded.

Police say William Bailey fired the shot that killed 19-year-old Daniel Hein after being challenged to point the gun at his head and pull the trigger. Bailey pleaded no contest to manslaughter under a deal in which he’ll testify against Testa if there’s a trial.

Information from: Rutland Herald,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.