Accused in court over airgun death

AMY MAAS
Last updated 12:38 15/02/2013
Zhuvargo Williams
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ
ACCUSED: Zhuvargo Williams is charged with manslaughter after his friend Shaun Townsley was shot dead with an airgun.

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A South Auckland teenager has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a friend who died after he was shot with an airgun.

Zhivargo Edward Blake Williams, 18, appeared at the Manukau District Court this afternoon where he was bailed to a Huntly address.

He will reappear in court on March 13.

Shaun Townsley, 18, of Takanini, allegedly strayed into the line of fire while a group of friends were drinking and using airguns to take pot shots at cans in their backyard on January 12.

He died at Middlemore Hospital the next morning. An autopsy showed Townsley was hit in the heart.

Police arrested and charged Williams last night. 

In the wake of the death, police had to reconstruct what happened and consult with lawyers before laying charges.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch warned at the time that airguns were powerful weapons that had the potential to kill or seriously injure.

"This tragedy should serve as a painful reminder that these weapons are not toys and need to be used in a controlled environment by responsible people with appropriate target awareness and knowledge of their power."

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