A trial date has been set in the case against David Wayne Rowland, who is charged in the November 2011 death of Devin Smith.
Rowland, 68, of Tazewell, was indicted by a Claiborne County Grand Jury in December 2011 in the death of Smith. He is charged with reckless homicide. His trial date was set in Claiborne County Criminal Court Monday morning for April 24.
Smith, 15, was hunting with his grandfather on Nov. 26, 2011, when he was shot around 5 p.m. His grandfather, Leonard Duffield, also of Tazewell, was near his grandson at the time of the shooting, according to reports.
“The grandfather thought he had let his gun go off because of the proximity of his grandson,” said Sheriff David Ray. “Then the other guy came over and admitted he had fired his gun.”
Rowland, who was hunting, told investigators he saw brush move, so he lifted his gun and fired. That shot killed Smith, according to investigators.
The case has been postponed at least once at the request of Rowland’s attorney, which disappointed several of Smith’s family members who have been in the courtroom.
After a hearing in August 2012, Smith’s mother spoke of the frustration and heartbreak the family was facing.
“We’re eight months into this and he (Rowland) has never served a day in jail,” said Smith’s mother, Jane Hurst. “There is no justice.”
Hurst described Smith as being a “clown” and a very happy young man.
“We are just lost without him,” she said.
Smith, a student at Middlesboro High School, would have turned 16 on Nov. 30, 2011 — four days after his death. He was a member of the Middlesboro High School JROTC program and planned to join the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation.
Rowland currently remains out on bond.