Accused of the city’s 16th homicide, a Lawton man claims it was accidental because he thought his gun was unloaded.
In turn, the Comanche County District Attorney’s office is accusing him of the negligence from a bad decision that led to the death of another man.
Bryan Derrell Bruce, 42, made his initial appearance via teleconference Wednesday in Comanche County District Court where he was charged with felony counts of first-degree manslaughter, and possession of a firearm after former felony conviction, records indicate. Manslaughter is punished by a minimum of four years in prison and the gun charge by up to 10 years.
Bruce said he was trying to break up an altercation between his son and Armondi over Bruce's ex-wife late night Nov. 18 outside his home in the 2100 block of Northwest 20th Street. Officers arrived to find Armondi dead behind the wheel of his Cadillac, Bruce's ex-wife was at the scene.
During questioning, Bruce said he’d retrieved his gun from the home after his son and Armondi had gotten into an altercation about his ex-daughter-in-law, who was now dating Armondi, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Believing the weapon was unloaded, Bruce pointed the gun at Armondi and told him to leave and said the man’s car was having trouble starting. He said the gun accidentally went off, the affidavit states. That’s when, he said, he threw the gun behind him in the yard. Police later found it and took Bruce into custody for the homicide and gun allegation as well as a warrant for failure to appear for judgment and sentencing after plea for 2017 case for a misdemeanor count of knowingly receiving, concealing and/or withholding stolen property. On Nov. 2 a bench warrant and bond forfeiture were ordered, court records indicate.
The Court ordered Bruce to a 9:30 a.m. Jan. 11, 2021, hearing over the State’s motion to revoke his suspended sentence.
Bruce has prior Comanche County felony conviction from February 2011, for cultivation of controlled substance, according to Oklahoma Department of Corrections records.
The bond amount for the manslaughter case was not available.