Suspect: Slip of thumb led to friend's shooting in Kzoo Co.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A man charged with open murder told Kalamazoo County authorities his thumb slipped, leading to the shooting death of his friend, a sergeant says.

Thomas Wyatt is charged in last month's shooting that killed 28-year-old William Michael Bolton. In Michigan, an open murder charge can be used in a manslaughter case.

The shooting happened  just before 1 a.m. on Aug. 25 in a home on West Tremblay Drive near VW Avenue E in Schoolcraft Township.

Thursday, 24 Hour News 8 obtained video of the probable cause hearing in Wyatt’s case, through the Freedom of Information Act. In it, Sgt. Stephen Beers says Wyatt admitted to having about five alcoholic drinks before cleaning a gun he planned to use for shooting the next day.

Beers said Wyatt told investigators when the semi-automatic pistol was resting on the table, he noticed its hammer was cocked back in the locked position. Investigators say Wyatt told them he tried unlock the hammer by depressing the trigger and slowly moving the hammer down to the slide, but his thumb slipped, causing the gun to fire.

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