‘I don’t remember pulling the trigger’: Homicide charge filed three months after accidental shooting

MADISON, Wis. — A Madison man accused of accidentally shooting and killing his friend is now being criminally charged for the death.

Court records show that 20-year-old Isaiah Miller of Madison has been charged with one felony count of homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon in the May death of 19-year-old Marshall “Levi” Iverson.

Authorities said in May that Miller had admitted to accidentally firing a round of an AR-15 rifle that ultimately killed Iverson. The gun was bought legally and was owned by one of the people in the home at the time of the shooting. Authorities said five other people were in the home when the gun was fired, but some did not directly witness the shooting.

New details released

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dane County court on Thursday, authorities received a call at 4:52 a.m. on May 15, 2022 from a person in the Village of Blue Mounds who deputies described as “frantic.” The caller said there was a 19-year-old who was shot in the head by someone who was playing with his gun.

When authorities got to the scene, they found multiple people outside the home, including a man and his wife, as well as their two sons and two friends of their sons. The man told deputies that he went to bed at about 10 p.m. that night and woke up at 1 a.m. to notice his sons were not home yet. A few hours later, he heard people yelling, which woke him up again.

The man went to one of his sons’ rooms and found Iverson had been shot. He said he knew that son, identified by the initials QMH in the complaint, owned an AR-style rifle and brought it into the home when he recently moved in with them, because they had talked about safely storing the gun.

“I don’t remember pulling the trigger”

Dane Co. Sheriff’s deputies reported that Miller told them the group had picked up Iverson at about 3:30 a.m. that morning, and the group played video games in QMH’s room and played what he described as a jousting game with pool noodles in the basement. Authorities said Miller would go off on tangents as he recounted the events of the night, asking if Iverson was going to be okay before being reminded by authorities that Iverson had died.

Miller allegedly told deputies that the shooting was an accident and that he had only picked the gun up before putting it back on QMH’s bed, saying “I don’t remember pulling the trigger.”

When asked to elaborate, Miller told authorities he didn’t even pick the gun up, claiming he just flipped it over while it was on the bed in order to make room for himself to sit, causing the gun to go off. Iverson was reportedly sitting near the bed at the time and was shot in the head.

In a second interview with a different deputy, Miller said he was “messing” with the gun and didn’t think there was anything in the clip before cocking it. Miller claimed he put the rifle on its side to uncock it before putting it back in its case when he “clicked it” and the gun fired.

QMH said he was the one to call 911 and tried to give aid to Iverson, who was still breathing at the time, and told deputies he continued chest compressions until Iverson was dead. QMH said he always stored the gun unloaded and was not sure who would have loaded the chamber, and also was not sure who took the gun out of the case.

Witnesses report drug use earlier in the night

Deputies reported smelling alcohol on the breath of some of the witnesses while they were being interviewed, including QMH and his brother, OWH, who said the group — including Miller — had been smoking marijuana in the hours leading up to the incident. OWH also told police that Miller had been drinking and taking Xanax that night. QMH also told authorities that Miller occasionally took drugs laced with Fentanyl, which had been the source of an argument in the group earlier in the night, but the group had gotten over the dispute by later that night.

Deputies reported Miller appearing dazed during interviews in the hours after the shooting, including nodding off and asking deputies to repeat their questions two or three times.

QMH later told deputies that he, Miller and Iverson had pooled their money earlier in the night to buy Xanax and that they all had taken it before the shooting. In a later interview, Miller told authorities everyone in the group was coming down from their Xanax high when the shooting happened.

Charges filed

Miller was formally charged on August 18, more than three months after the incident. A $15,000 cash bond was ordered during his initial appearance in Dane County court on Thursday. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 31.