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Manslaughter Trial

Posted on 19th April 2018 at 06:44

The manslaughter trial of Dawson Dunn, 13, of Kelso is now under way, and is expected to run through Friday. The teen is on trial for shooting and killing his friend, Edgar Vasquez, 13, at Dunn’s home on Carroll Road in October of last year. Today’s Daily News reports on the first day of testimony in Cowlitz County Juvenile Court, where it appears that Dunn’s experience in handling guns will be a key component. In October of last year, best friends Dunn and Vasquez were at Dunn’s house, with Vasquez playfully chasing Dunn. It’s alleged that Dunn went into a bedroom and grabbed a Benelli shotgun. Dunn told a deputy that he racked the gun and ejected a shell, then he racked it again; thinking the gun was unloaded, he pointed it at Vasquez and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, hitting Vasquez in the chest. Prosecutors and defense attorneys both agree that the shooting was accidental; for a conviction, it has to be proven that Dunn also acted recklessly. Motions to bar testimony about Dunn shooting shotguns at a range earlier in 2017 and to exclude statements that Dunn made to deputies right after the shooting were denied. Testimony is expected to continue today, and into tomorrow.