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FAYETTEVILLE -- A Springdale teen initially charged as an adult with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old friend had his case transferred to juvenile court Friday.

Washington County prosecutors filed charges against JR RB Betwel, 17, in circuit court. He was charged as an adult but was being held at the Juvenile Detention Center. Betwel turned 17 on Sept. 24, 2018.

Betwel also was charged with two counts of theft by receiving.

Betwel, the 15-year-old boy and at least one other juvenile were in a car on March 22, according to police. The car, stolen in Fayetteville, was parked on Singletree Avenue in Springdale, and the 15-year-old was sitting in the driver's seat, police said. Betwel was handling the gun, which had been stolen in Elkins.

Betwel accidentally fired the pistol, striking the 15-year-old in the chest, police said.

The boy died at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale from a gunshot wound after the juveniles took him to the emergency room about 5:30 a.m., according to a news release from police. The juveniles stayed until officers arrived.

Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor ordered the case transferred to Juvenile Court, based on a defense motion. Results of juvenile proceedings are not subject to disclosure.

NW News on 09/21/2019

Print Headline: Betwel transferred to juvenile court

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