BYRNES MILL • A hunter was "joking around" when he accidentally shot his friend in the face with an arrow and killed him, court documents say.
Jefferson County prosecutors on Friday charged Jered Winters, 20, with involuntary manslaughter for the death of Ryan Sargeant, 15.
The two were hunting deer at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in a wooded area off North Fork Drive in Byrnes Mill when the accident occurred.
Winters told Byrnes Mill police that he was joking when he pointed his bow at Ryan, but that his finger tapped the trigger of the bow and fired an arrow into Ryan's face, according to a probable cause statement.
Ryan had pointed his bow at Winters, but it did not have an arrow in it, Byrnes Mill police said.
Winters lives with his grandmother, Deanna Williams, in the 3500 block of Westfork Drive, in the Byrnes Mill Farms mobile home park.
They moved there about a year ago. She said Winters and Ryan, who lived in the neighborhood, met about five months ago.
"They were best friends," Williams said.
She added that Winters had hunted for about 10 years.
The minimum age to get a bow permit in Missouri is 6 years old, said Dan Zarlenga, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The bow season for deer started Sept. 15 and ends Nov. 12.
Winters had a valid archer's permit, Zarlenga said. He would not say whether Ryan had a permit because Ryan was a minor.
Efforts to reach Ryan's family on Friday were not successful.
Bail for Winters was set at $10,000. He remained jailed late Friday.
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