Charles Wesley Decock has been charged with killing a woman while he was reportedly cleaning a firearm inside a Lockwood camper.
Decock, 32 years old, appeared on Monday in Yellowstone County District Court by video from the county jail for arraignment on a charge of negligent homicide.
Decock pleaded not guilty after a judge explained he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years on the homicide charge, and an additional possible sentence between two and 10 years for using a firearm.
Decock was arrested on October 12 after Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at about 9:30 p.m. at a residence on Highway 87 East in Lockwood.
A person at the residence waved deputies down as they arrived and Decock was yelling at deputies for assistance as he was leaning over a woman on the ground with his hands pressed against her neck, court records state.
Decock told the deputies the woman, identified in court records by the initials C.F., had a "through and through" gunshot wound to the neck and the shooting happened inside a camper parked on the property, according to court records. The 38-year-old woman was later pronounced dead.
Decock told deputies he was "conducting maintenance" on his firearm when it accidentally discharged and struck C.F. in the neck.
"More specifically, he stated that he was sitting in the chair while C.F. sat on a bed inside the camper," court records state. "The Defendant advised he began cleaning his firearm by disassembling it and putting it back together. The Defendant stated that to disassemble his firearm, he must pull the trigger. When disassembling the firearm, it went "boom" and she saw C.F. grab her neck.
The person who lives at the property and called 911 told deputies she was inside her house at the time of the shooting and did not hear the gunshot. Decock came to her door yelling for her to call 911, she said, because C.F. had been shot.
The person said Decock lived in the camper on the property and the woman lived in the house, but often visited Decock in the camper.
Deputies searched the camper and reported finding a Smith and Wesson 9mm on the floor in front of a chair and a casing on the floor. There was blood on some backpacks near the foot of the bed, the court documents state, and a hole in the wall next to the bed.
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