Due to a potential conflict of interest, a prosecutor with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office will now handle the case of the Statesville man charged with accidentally shooting and killing his 18-year-old girlfriend.
The possible conflict was with Iredell District Attorney Sarah Kirkman and suspect Jason Tenor’s father, Charles.
In a recent interview, Charles Tenor said he attended high school with Kirkman through graduation. He and Kirkman didn’t interact during school and never spoke or saw each other again after graduation, he said.
Jason Tenor, 21, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the November death of Cortney Smith.
Tenor’s attorney, Ken Darty, praised the decision to use a prosecutor from the attorney general’s office.
“I appreciate the DA’s office removing any doubt as to the integrity of this prosecution,” he said.
Deputies responded to a 911 call about a gunshot wound at 132 Treeline Drive on Nov. 7, according to court documents. The call was placed by Tenor after he pulled the trigger of his friend’s 9mm Taurus handgun.
When the shooting occurred, Tenor thought the gun was empty because the magazine was removed, the documents said, and he had no experience with firearms.
Tenor’s next court date is slated for March 6.