Best friends Nicholas Bell and Jeffrey Charbonneau were staying with a mutual friend over Thanksgiving weekend in 2010. Charbonneau fell asleep and Bell decided to play a joke on his friend. He grabbed what he thought was an air rifle and, in an attempt to scare Charbonneau, fired a shot. The air rifle turned out to be a very real 22 caliber hunting rifle. Charbonneau was hit in the chest and died at the scene.
Bell was charged with simple assault with a weapon, reckless endangerment, and manslaughter. In court, Bell was grief stricken that his practical joke killed his best friend, saying that his actions were stupid and careless. But it was not the first time Bell had shot his friend. A video from 2009 shows Charbonneau bleeding after being shot by Bell with a BB gun. Bell can be heard laughing in the background.
Bell pled no contest to the charges. He received one year in prison for the lesser charges and was given seven years deferred for the manslaughter charge. Hopefully, he’s finally learned his lesson about shooting people as a joke.