Eau Claire man found guilty of reckless homicide in 2021 shooting

28-year-old Austin Vang was charged with shooting and killing a 14-year-old boy in 2021.
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 9:04 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - An Eau Claire man is found guilty of reckless homicide in a 2021 shooting that killed a teenager.

28-year-old Austin Vang was found guilty by a jury Thursday of 2nd-degree reckless homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon in the shooting death of 14-year-old Marwan Washington, who died July 21, 2021 after being shot in the neck, according to online court records.

Vang was originally charged with 1st-degree reckless homicide, which carried a maximum 60-year prison sentence. The 2nd-degree reckless homicide charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum $100,000 penalty.

The jury trial, which began on Monday, was scheduled to last until Friday. Sentencing is scheduled for March 31, 2023 in Eau Claire County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the original charge, the Eau Claire Police Department said Vang told first responders he was “messing around” with his gun and forgot it was loaded before shooting Washington. Police said Vang was found to have had a history of being negligent with a firearm from interviews during the investigation, telling police that he would ‘mess around’ with the gun without any bullets loaded into it.