A local attorney defended a deadly shooting suspect on Wednesday by saying the shooting was an accident.
The victim's family is shocked that their loved one's death might not get the justice they are seeking.
The 22-year-old shooting suspect is accused of killing her friend last December. A judge lowered Grace Huff’s first-degree murder charge to second-degree murder or manslaughter.
It was a turn of events 20-year-old Montanah Sullivan's family was not expecting the last time they saw the accused shooter in court. Huff has been out of jail on bond but was required to wear an ankle monitor.
“She showed no remorse in the preliminary hearing whatsoever,” Montanah Sullivan’s father, Chris, said.
Huff's attorney Perry Hudson said the charge was lowered because all of the evidence pointed to an accidental discharge. There were three witnesses in the car when Huff allegedly fired out a window and then pointed the gun at Sullivan, shooting her in the head.
“When Grace Huff initially pulled the gun out,” Sullivan said. “The young man in the backseat said, ‘Hey, put the gun up or you’re going to hurt yourself or you’re going to hurt somebody.’”
The victim's father later learned the gun belonged to Huff's father.
“He knew his daughter had the gun,” Sullivan said. “He made no effort to get the gun back.”
Sullivan said his daughter's death devastated their family and the community in Missouri where she grew up. The victim's younger siblings are crushed she's no longer there.
“I have three children in counseling because they can’t understand why their sister is not coming back,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan does not believe Huff accidently shot his daughter. He said he will fight for justice.
“She deserves the maximum sentence that they can give her,” Sullivan said. “From what I’ve been told, that’s 45 years.”
Sullivan plans to file a civil lawsuit against Huff's family for allowing her to have the gun.
Huff will be back in court in October. A trial date has not been set.