Shooting Injures Juvenile In Bell County

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A Middlesboro High School Student is in critical condition at a Tennessee hospital after she was shot in the chest Sunday at her grandmother's house.

A man is in custody charged with assault.

Amanda Barnett's family says about five-thirty Sunday evening, the 16 year old was wrestling around with a family friend, Dewayne Smith, when a gun Smith was playing with, went off.

Amanda Barnett's family say 35 year old Dewayne Smith did not mean to harm the 16 year old.

“Wayne's a good person, I just don't think he thought there was a bullet in the gun,” Pauline Patterson, Amanda Barnett’s Grandmother said.

But there was, and they say that bullet suddenly hit Barnett in the side, puncturing both her lungs, and even damaging part of her liver.

Barnett is recovering at the UT Medical Center.

Classmates at Middlesboro High School, where Amanda Barnett was a sophomore, wrote letters to her family, hoping for a full recovery.

Those close to her says she tough enough to make it through this.

“I believe she will, because she's a tough young lady and I believe she can make it through this,” Candice Barnett said.

Police arrested Dewayne Smith and charged him with first degree assault.

He pleaded not guilty at the arraignment Monday morning and declined our request for an interview.

Barnett's grandmother says Smith should have been more careful.

At last check Amanda Barnett is in critical but stable condition at UT Medical Center.

Dewayne Smith is in jail on a 250 thousand dollar bond and is due back in court Thursday.

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