A Shreveport man accused in the death of another man while playing with a rifle was found guilty of manslaughter in a bench trial in Caddo District Court Monday, June 20, 2022.

LaTroy Derez Smith Jr., 21, was one of four men playing with an assault-style rifle in an apartment in the 6100 block of LaTierra Street on October 27, 2019.

The men, self-described as friends, were fascinated by the rifle and passed it to one another. Smith was pointing the rifle at one of the other men and pulled the trigger, at which point the weapon discharged. Smith claimed he turned at the sounbd of one of the other men’s voices and, distracted. accidentally pointed the gun at the deceased, Dayton DeShawn Washington, 18.

District Judge Donald E. Hathaway Jr. heard six witnesses, including one eyewitness, as well as Smith’s recorded confession, before returning his verdict of guilt as charged.

Smith will return to Judge Hathaway’s court June 29 for sentencing. The sentence for manslaughter is imprisonment at hard labor for up to 40 years.

The prosecutor was Assistant District Attorney Jason Waltman. Smith was defended by Charles “Pete” Kammer.

The case was docket No. 371497.