Mother defends man accused of shooting her son

Mother defends man accused of shooting her son

SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, MI (WWMT/CNN) – The mother of a Michigan man who was shot and killed over the weekend is defending the man accused of doing it.

Twenty-eight-year-old William Bolton died Saturday morning, and police are charging his best friend and roommate, 25-year-old William Wyatt, with murder.

But Bolton's family is convinced his death was just an accident.

"They were like brothers. They were like two peas in a pod," said Kathy Bolton, William Bolton's mother. "They would have laid their lives down for one another without a second thought."

Kathy Bolton said she considers the suspect her second son.

"They can't take two children away from me," she said.

William Bolton's sister, Nikole Berger, also considers Wyatt innocent of murder.

"We are his family. He belongs back home with us," Berger said. "There's no way this was on purpose."

Wyatt was officially charged Monday with "open murder," meaning prosecutors chose not to differentiate between first- or second-degree murder, a practice which is allowable under Michigan state law.

"I'm not guilty," Wyatt told the judge.

Kathy Bolton said she talked with her son about an hour before he was shot inside his Schoolcraft Township, MI, home.

She said he and Wyatt were cleaning their guns, preparing to go to the range the next morning. She believes one of the guns went off and killed her son.

Deputies said Bolton was pronounced dead on the scene around 1 a.m. Saturday. But moments before, his mother believes he was alert when Wyatt called 911.

"The detective told me he was shot in the shoulder. He said where my son was shot should not have been a fatal injury," she said.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff James VanDyken would not comment on the family's claims of an accidental discharge. He's instead saying it's up to the courts to decide.

While investigators aren't releasing many details on the shooting, they did say they believe alcohol was likely a factor.

Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller wouldn't comment on whether guns were found inside the home, or if there were any signs of a struggle, because the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2018 WWMT via CNN. Raycom News Network contributed to this report. All rights reserved.