Teen due back in court in friend's gun game death

News Niagara Bureau

WHEATFIELD - Jack L. Lewis, the 17-year-old accused of fatally shooting his friend while playing what police decribed as a "reverse form of Russian roulette," will appear in Town Court at 1 p.m. Monday, April 1, 2002 on a second-degree manslaughter charge.

Lewis, of 2248 River Road, was arrested last Saturday after police said he shot and killed Cole W. Aydelotte, 16, of West River Road, Grand Island.

State Police Senior Investigator James G. Probst said Lewis fired the shot from his father's handgun.

Probst said the teenagers were discussing guns in Lewis' home when they took a handgun from a bedroom, put a bullet in it and started playing the deadly game.

In Russian roulette, the player spins the cylinder, points the gun at himself and pulls the trigger.

The teens, however, engaged in a form that involved pointing the weapon at each other. When Aydelotte aimed the weapon at Lewis and pulled the trigger, nothing happened. But when Lewis repeated the process, the gun discharged, killing Aydelotte.

Last Saturday, Lewis pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge before Justice John Mattio, who remanded him to Niagara County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. He later received an adjournment until Monday to hire a lawyer.

Probst called the shooting "a terrible tragedy," the result of doing something reckless, but without malicious intent. He said the case will go to a county grand jury.