New preliminary date set for teen accused of friend’s murder

With his hands shackled, 19-year-old Zaccheaus Blanding kept his eyes trained to the floor floor during court appearance last week, where he faces charges in the shooting death of his friend.

Blanding, charged with second-degree murder while armed, allegedly shot and killed his friend, Heineken McNeil.

According to WUSA9, Blanding told police his friend’s death was an accident. Blanding allleged he was playing with a gun in his bedroom on June 22 when gun fired and accidentally hit McNeil. The teen then panicked and put his friend’s body in a trash can before lighting it on fire.

During a short interview, Blanding’s attorney, Judith Pipe, said a decision has not yet been made whether Blanding will submit a guilty plea or plea not guilty, which would move the case toward a trial.

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