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Harlem girl dies from wound

Friday, March 30, 2012 10:22 AM
Last updated Saturday, March 31, 2012 6:48 AM
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A 13-year-old Harlem girl accidentally shot in the face died Friday afternoon.

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Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan addresses 14-year-old Zach Provance, who is accused of shooting a 13-year-old girl on Thursday, during a Friday morning detention hearing. The boy's father, Richard Wayne Provance, 54, who faces drug and weapons charges, sits behind his son in orange.   VALERIE ROWELL/STAFF
VALERIE ROWELL/STAFF
Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan addresses 14-year-old Zach Provance, who is accused of shooting a 13-year-old girl on Thursday, during a Friday morning detention hearing. The boy's father, Richard Wayne Provance, 54, who faces drug and weapons charges, sits behind his son in orange.

Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said Eleanor “Ellie” Kelly, of the 6200 block of Otis Way, was pronounced dead at about 3 p.m.

Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris identified 14-year-old Zach Provance, who lives at the Keener Street residence where the shooting occurred, as the gunman.

A bullet from the .38-caliber revolver used in the shooting lodged in Kelly’s brain, said Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison.

An autopsy has been scheduled at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta on Monday.

At about 4 p.m. Thursday, Harlem police were called to 145 Keener St. and found Kelly shot in the kitchen. She was airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment.

Authorities said that Kelly and Provance were inside the home with another boy and girl preparing for a dance at Harlem Middle School, where Kelly and Provance attended, when the shooting occurred.

Following Kelly’s death, authorities charged Provance with involuntary manslaughter, Morris said. The sheriff’s office initially charged him with reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a person under 18.

Provance currently is jailed at the Re­gional Youth Detention Center, Morris said.

During Provance’s detention hearing Friday morning, Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Flanagan ordered that the boy remain in custody while he undergoes a psychological evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, Flanagan said he’ll decide whether to release the boy to “a fit and willing relative” or into the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services.

Sheriff’s Investigator Randall Chambers said at the hearing that the teen was showing off the .38-caliber gun.

“He said he did it,” Chambers said. “(Provance said) he was messing around with the gun. He thought it was cool; showing it off. It accidentally discharged.”

No adults were in the home at the time, Chambers said.

“He had the hammer back,” Chambers said. “He explained that he was trying to release the hammer with his finger in front of it so he could ease it back down when it slipped off his finger and discharged.”

The shooting is being ruled accidental, Harlem Public Safety Director David Sward said Thursday.

“We’re still trying to get all of our facts straight, but we do know she wasn’t shot on purpose,” he said.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was called in to assist in the case, and inside the home investigators discovered “18.4 grams of marijuana, three marijuana plants, two partially smoked marijuana cigarettes and three bags of marijuana seeds,” along with a Colt .45 pistol and marijuana-growing paraphernalia, according to a police report.

Provance’s 54-year-old father, Richard Wayne Provance, was charged with manufacture and possession of drugs and possession of a gun during commission of a crime on Thursday at his home, according to a sheriff’s office report. Authorities said the elder Provance also had two other handguns and a rifle inside the home.

Juvenile Court Probation Officer Rodney Brown said at the hearing that the boy admitted to a history of smoking marijuana, but a drug test revealed none in his system at the time of theincident.

“This is what happens when parents have guns in the home and do not secure (them),” Flanagan said at the hearing, before directing his attention to Provance. “I have strong concerns when I have a child using marijuana and dad is growing it. Dad, I don’t know what they charged you with yesterday, but when you come back and see me, there will probably be a couple of more charges.”

This is the second time in 14 months that a Harlem girl was shot by a teen boy.

In January 2011, Alana May Calahan, 14, was fatally shot inside her Miles Road home. Her 15-year-old friend Lacy Aaron Schmidt was convicted of her murder Feb. 10 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

It’s also the second time this week an area youth has been charged with shooting another child.

On Monday afternoon, 10-year-old Hunter Morris was fatally shot at a neighbor’s home in Plantation Acres Mobile Homes in Richmond County. A 12-year-old boy has been charged in connection with the shooting, which the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has said appears to be accidental.

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my.voice
4702
Points
my.voice 03/30/12 - 10:59 am
6
0
When I was 13 my biggest

When I was 13 my biggest problem was getting a new wheel for my BMX bike. Oh, and report card day.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/30/12 - 11:03 am
3
1
i hope this is a new trend in
Unpublished

i hope this is a new trend in holding owners of guns responsible when they're accessible to kids. i know marijuana is a favorite thing to arrest for, but let's hope it's more about demanding to keep kids safe from guns.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/30/12 - 11:13 am
3
1
are any of those charges to
Unpublished

are any of those charges to do with leaving a gun where a kid (his kid) could get it and shoot it? or is it just that he was growing marijuana and owned a gun during? someone help me understand. are we still not charging people for gun owning negligence around kids?

lynn7044
190
Points
lynn7044 03/30/12 - 11:37 am
5
1
How many more of our children

How many more of our children will have to be shot and/or kill. Parents need to be parent. It is your job to keep guns away from our young people. The death of our children (Yes, they are all our children) need to stop,we need to all come together to save our kids. See this isn't a race problem,this is a wide spreed problem among all our kids. We as parents need to go back into the school, look into your kids room, ask them about there day, and just spend more time. Time is something you can't get back. It's our job to see where our kids go, meet those parents that your children hang with. Our parents did it so what's the problem, be a parent and not your child friend. I am sure that the Sheriff department is tried of going to see another dead child or going to tell another parent that there child is dead.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 03/30/12 - 12:15 pm
4
2
Very sad, I pray for the

Very sad, I pray for the young girl and her family and for the young boy also. Parents, please keep guns locked away from children!

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 03/30/12 - 12:42 pm
0
0
Wow this jerk needed a .38
Unpublished

Wow this jerk needed a .38 and a .45 to make himself feel safe. I wonder if he used them for hunting? I beleive that if a weapon is left unsecured, loaded and in the presence of children, you should be just as responsible as if you pulled the trigger. Because of this jerks stupidity, two children are affected for the rest of their lives. Sad what we have become in this country of laws.

Cynical old woman
1098
Points
Cynical old woman 03/30/12 - 01:56 pm
5
0
Adults who leave guns and

Adults who leave guns and illegal drugs laying around a house where children are SHOULD be held responsible!

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/30/12 - 04:30 pm
5
0
Our dad had a rifle, a 12
Unpublished

Our dad had a rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun, a sweet 16, and two 38 revolvers (my grandfather, uncles, cousins, etc owned weapons as well) when we were growing up. We all knew where every single one of these weapons was in our house. We all were taken out in the woods and taught how to shoot each weapon at an early age. My best friend’s father and brothers had all sorts of hunting weapons and pistols in their house as well. Most were in the corner behind a door or somewhere in sight. We have a 9mm glock and a 12 gauge shotgun in our house. Two of our children are over the age of 20, one is not.

Not ONE time in my entire life did the thought cross my mind to pick up any weapon at my house or my best friends. Not ONE time did we think about "hey let me show you something cool (a gun)”, not ONE time have my children ever touched the weapons in our house.

With that said there is and always has been in rule in OUR house: NO ONE is allowed in our house unless an adult is at home. PERIOD, no exceptions!!!

OUR children know better than to touch any weapon in our house. Other people’s children may not. If we had a babysitter we locked our bedroom door and our closet door (both doors have key locks).

Did our kids fuss, moan and groan about not being able to have anyone at the house when we were not home? Yes! Do we care how much they fussed, moaned and groaned? Not one bit! Our house; our rules.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/30/12 - 04:17 pm
2
1
There are sooooo many people

There are sooooo many people in that area who openly use drugs with their kids. Sadly, if you report it to law enforcement, they do NOTHING. (at least it's that way in RC)

Jake
32264
Points
Jake 03/30/12 - 06:16 pm
6
2
Very sad and tragic indeed

Very sad and tragic indeed for the Kelly family. Their hearts must be breaking.
The only thing missing from the comments in regards to the Provance family are the usual "where is the mom" and "low life" remarks you get when the racial makeup is different.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/30/12 - 06:39 pm
1
3
openly using drugs with kids
Unpublished

openly using drugs with kids escaped me in my reading. i'd much rather have seen this guy smoking weed with his kid than leaving the gun out where his kid could get it. a kid finding weed or beer or porn is not the end of the world. a kid getting into a car and driving, especially drunk or high, can be and getting hold of a gun can be. stop trusting your kids so much with stuff that can kill them. teenagers aren't all the way grown in the brain in terms of consequences. it's not till the twenties that we really grasp the consequences concept. strange but true. houses need to be teenager proofed, too.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 03/30/12 - 07:25 pm
0
0
RIP.

RIP.

freeradical
1052
Points
freeradical 03/30/12 - 07:59 pm
0
2
Nothing new here . There has

Nothing new here .

There has always been multiple instances of teens executing teens

"accidentally " within any given county .

They just never had the awesome social media we have.

We are actually evolving as humans , we just don't know it.

We have always had the same rate , if not lower , of teens killing

themselves as well.

Is there any doubt we are evolving?

Sweet son
10030
Points
Sweet son 03/30/12 - 08:25 pm
1
0
@EyeMaeNo, great comment!

@EyeMaeNo, great comment! There were also always long guns and hand guns around me from the first time I can remember. And yes, I knew exactly where they were and could have shown them to friends but I grew up in another world. My Mother was home when I came from school and I had a Father, which seems to be the common missing factor in families today, who came home each evening to be with his family. Wonder where this child's "Mother" and "Father" were when he was involved in the terrible accident that cost another child her life. It really makes me angry that we don't have two parent families and that we don't have any form of control over children after they are put off the bus. I don't have the answers but I do have the concern!! Son!

rbndawn
37
Points
rbndawn 03/30/12 - 08:51 pm
2
2
To all the gun advocates,

To all the gun advocates, this is why the 2nd amendment is not suitable for every American, not every gun owner set the example EyeMaeNo talks about, there must be provitions to prosecute them severely when tragedies like this occur. In case you wonder, yes I have a firearm at home, my only son, 13 years old has been instructed and knows how to handle it and of course is locked away. Like Lynn7040 said, it is moment for many, to start acting like parents. This kid, after all that is what he is... just a kid with a very bad father figure, showed with his actions, a completely lack of good guidance that cut short a innocent girl's life. Our prayers to the girl's family and all innocent victims involved.

AutumnLeaves
6916
Points
AutumnLeaves 03/30/12 - 09:26 pm
2
0
astheworldturns, yes it is.

astheworldturns, yes it is. As Augusta goes, so does the rest of the CSRA. You just haven't noticed it yet.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 03/30/12 - 09:43 pm
0
0
It makes me feel so much
Unpublished

It makes me feel so much better knowing that Jake is here to lift us with his elitist ramblings.....(that was sarcasm in case you didn't cathc it)

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/30/12 - 10:33 pm
2
1
bsnm...leaving drugs and drug

bsnm...leaving drugs and drug paraphernalia around your house is not acceptable in my world. Just as it is not acceptable to leave loaded guns around the house with young kids/teens. If dad is manufacturing it, and using it, I'm certain the child is using it too. I can't figure why people in Augusta think drug use is okay.

astheworldturns...I know NOW what ya'll do in Harlem.

Cdr4500
20
Points
Cdr4500 03/30/12 - 11:49 pm
0
1
I think if you own a weapon
Unpublished

I think if you own a weapon or weapons and your kids a hold to it...whether anyone gets hurt or not...you should be charged with felony child endangerment and have your gun rights revoked since you've proven you aren't responsible enough store it properly out of reach or keep it out of the hands of your children.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 03/31/12 - 01:33 am
2
0
Hope that Judge Flanagan and

Hope that Judge Flanagan and DA Ashley Wright drop the hammer on the elder Provance.

It's time to criminalize dereliction of parental duties. Two more young lives wasted. How many more before We, the People, say, "Enough?"

itsanotherday1
41664
Points
itsanotherday1 03/31/12 - 10:14 am
1
0
There is no such thing as an

There is no such thing as an "accidental" shooting; in every case there is negligence/mishandling involved.

leebraxjr
270
Points
leebraxjr 03/31/12 - 04:20 pm
0
0
I am at odds with this story.

I am at odds with this story. I will be glad when the full story comes out, because minus the excuses, this is a very serious matter and the courts do not care about the pitty and tears.
The one thing I am having trouble with is the child had the gun and cocked it. Based on that part he was showing some sort of intent. When he called himself releasing the hammer easy, like you see on tv, it slipped. This part bothers me because it shows he had the gun point at the little girl at the time. This makes a argument was there striff going on. The slipping of the hammer does not and is not an excuse. This young teenager has done this before.
This is a homicide. I would have to charge him with 2nd degree manslaughter with intent.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/31/12 - 09:16 pm
0
0
people sure misunderstand me.
Unpublished

people sure misunderstand me. let me try again. i'm not saying it was an accident. i'm saying kids aren't mature. don't let them access guns.
i'm not saying it's awesome for people to do drugs with their kids. i'm saying i think it's backwards priorities in this case to charge for drugs out where a kid can get at it but not for a gun out where the kid got at it. because i'd rather see kids play with cigarettes or weed or beer or porn than with guns doesn't mean i advocate handing those things out. my concern is- did that guy get charged for leaving a gun where a kid could get it? i'm worried that other than the drug charges, this one would have gone without charges against the gun's owner like the others. no accountability.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/31/12 - 10:12 pm
0
0
bsnm...I would agree that a

bsnm...I would agree that a charge for having a loaded gun with a child is a greater concern in this case than him being caught with weed and/or manufacturing weed because a child died. Regardless, both show bad parenting to me....what's this thing with porn? I didn't read anything about it above.

itsanotherday1
41664
Points
itsanotherday1 03/31/12 - 10:17 pm
0
0
leebrax, you make points

leebrax, you make points worth pondering.

iceprincess8901
0
Points
iceprincess8901 04/02/12 - 05:28 pm
0
0
i hope both of them are

i hope both of them are sitting in their cells and think what have i gotten my self into. This is the 2nd time this has happened in this small town.:( If you dont know by now they charged the dad with possession of a gun with intent to use in a crime and a possession and atempt to distribute to a minor charge. Thank god we have people that get people off the streets that do this. this is very sad; i pray for the Kelly family every night.

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