A Tioga County grand jury has indicted 18-year-old Justin Dibble of Cherry Valley on nine counts, including second-degree manslaughter, in the Jan. 31 shooting death of Naomi Miklic, 15, of Fort Plain.
Dibble is accused of accidentally shooting the teenager as he was playing with a .38-caliber revolver stolen from his grandfather.
Dibble and co-defendant Isaiah L. Bowen, 28, also of Cherry Valley, were traveling in Bowen’s vehicle with both Miklic and a second 15-year-old female runaway from Fort Plain.
Tioga County District Attorney Gerald A. Keene said on Thursday that the group was returning to Cherry Valley from Pennsylvania when the shooting occurred near Owego.
After the arrests, Keene said Dibble was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle and Miklic was sitting in the front passenger seat. The bullet discharged as Dibble was rolling the revolver cylinder on his leg and arm, Keene said, and it passed through the front seat into Miklic.
On Thursday, Keene said Dibble and Bowen were together in Cherry Valley when Dibble stole two .38-caliber handguns from his grandfather. At least one of those handguns is registered to the grandfather, Keene said.
Keene said Bowen was the source of other firearms in the vehicle, including an unregistered .44-caliber revolver, a sawed-off shotgun and a rifle.
According to statements provided to investigators, the two men claimed they were carrying the guns for their own security.
Dibble was also indicted on two counts each of second-degree criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child and one count each of third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a firearm.
Bowen was indicted on 11 counts, including five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child and one count each of unlawfully dealing with a child and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Dibble was arraigned this week in Tioga County Court, where bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. Bowen was to be arraigned Thursday afternoon. Bail was set at his first court appearance at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.
The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 15 years in prison, Keene said.
The unlawfully dealing with a child charge filed against Bowen accuses him of providing alcohol to Dibble.
Information disclosed early in the case that the weapon used by Dibble was a .32-caliber handgun was incorrect. Keene said .38-caliber handguns are the models once widely used by police detectives and made by Smith & Wesson.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Schenectady County