Three men, including Edward Fleury, a Pelham, Massachusetts police chief, were indicted Thursday on involuntary manslaughter counts. Charges arise from a gun-fair death of Christopher Bizilj, an 8-year-old who accidentally shot himself in the head with an Uzi. Prosecutors claim that the boy should not have been allowed to handle the uzi. The fair had promised certified instructors in an advertisement, but District Attorney William Bennett said the child was supervised by an uncertified 15-year-old.
Edward Fleury allegedly told the gun owners that children could legally use the Uzi.
Christopher apparently lost control of the 9mm micro submachine gun as it recoiled. At the time, he was shooting at a pumpkin at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club. Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury was charged because he owns the sponsor of the gun fair, COP Firearms & Training. Carl Guiffre of Hartford, Conn., and Domenico Spano, of New Milford, Conn., also were indicted. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but the term could be five years or less for someone with no prior convictions. Thomas Drechsler, an attorney for the club, extends "deepest sympathy" to the Bizilj family, but denies any wrongdoing.
Update 8-16-11: In January, a Hamden Superior Court jury found Edward B. Fleury innocent of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the eight year- old boy who shot himself. If convicted, he could have faced up to 20 years in jail.