A state judge on Wednesday sent the case of a 17-year-old boy accused of killing his friend to a three-judge panel to determine an appropriate prison sentence. Following recommendations by both the prosecution and defense, State Superior Court Judge Jack Smith determined at a hearing that the 7-11 year presumptive prison term James Trueblood Jr. is facing for manslaughter might be manifestly unjust.
Trueblood was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Brenton Buckmaster, 15, whom he shot and killed while playing with a new .357-caliber revolver in his home in the 12200 block of Rainbow Avenue on March 5, 2009. Trueblood pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
At the hearing, Smith said the three-judge panel could reduce the sentence Trueblood would face by half, to 3 1/2 years, though he questioned whether justice would be served with such a light sentence.
A date for the panel to review the case had not yet been set.