A Harlem teen accused of fatally shooting his 13-year-old friend was given the maximum sentence Friday at a Columbia County Juvenile Court hearing.
Zachary Provance, 14, was sentenced by Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Flanagan to the maximum amount of confinement allowed, which has yet to be determined.
“When somebody dies, someone goes to jail,” Flanagan said.
Provance admitted to accidentally shooting Grace Eleanor “Elle” Kelly, 13, when they and two other teens were in Provance’s Kenner Street home on March 29 preparing for a Harlem Middle School dance.
Authorities say Provance was showing off his father’s .38-caliber pistol. As Provance tried to uncock the gun, it fired and hit Kelly in the face. The bullet lodged in her brain, and she died the next day.
Provance was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a person younger than 18.
“I’m sorry all this is happening,” Provance said at the hearing. “Elle was a good friend of mine.”
Kelly’s family said they didn’t believe the shooting was an accident, citing messages Provance posted onto her Facebook page, including one that said Provance wanted to pin down Kelly and not let her up.
Many people, including Provance’s father, spoke on Provance’s behalf, stating he was a “good kid” and very intelligent.