On the night of November 6, a 19-year-old in Elma was shot in the abdomen. He was taken to ECMC, where he later died from his injury. Jake Klocek, 19, has been charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the as yet unidentified victim’s death. Criminal defense attorney Barry Covert spoke to WGRZ’s Maryalice Demler about the charges Klocek faces. The full story is available on the WGRZ website.
Shooting caused by reckless conduct
When asked why Klocek was charged with the shooting when it seemed to be accidental, Mr. Covert explained that “apparently, the police believe that he engaged in reckless conduct.” He went on to say that the rationale may be “that (Klocek) should have understood that there was a risk that he was placing the victim in by whatever he did with the gun. We’re not clear on the details, but his failure to understand the risk that he placed the other individual in—and it resulted in a horrible tragedy—is why he’s been charged with manslaughter in the second degree.”
Gun used illegally
In addition to manslaughter charges, Klocek is also facing charges of criminal possession of a weapon. Mr. Covert told WGRZ that being charged with this offense “implies that he did not have a permit for the gun and that he illegally possessed it and he illegally used it. And, unfortunately, it resulted in another individual’s tragic death.”
Mr. Covert also pointed out that, regardless of age, a person can face weapons charges if they do not have a pistol permit “just for holding (a pistol), just for possessing it, just for shooting it.” He explained that “even if you’re at a gun range, if somebody hands you a pistol, you technically aren’t allowed, without a license, to even fire that.”
About Barry N. Covert
Mr. Covert is a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area. He is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.