Texas Teen Given Probation For Deadly Accidental Shooting

Michael Bryce Underwood (Jail photo)

MONTAGUE (January 27, 2014) Michael Bryce Underwood, 18, was sentenced to probation Monday in Montague in an accidental shooting that claimed the life of the high school football player who was his best friend.

Underwood pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the accidental shooting death of Denton Guyer High School football player Nathan Maki, 18, who was killed on Aug. 31 while on a campout with Underwood and two 18-year-old women.

The four teens had planned to go dove hunting.

Underwood placed an emotional call to authorities, telling a dispatcher they “were hunting coyotes and he accidentally shot (Maki) in the head.”

Maki, a senior fullback and linebacker on the defending Class 4A Division I state championship team, was found late at night with a gunshot wound to the head in a pickup truck in a field close to Bowie.

He died later at Bowie Memorial Hospital.

In a victim impact statement read in court Monday, Maki's mother, Bonnie Tatera, said she forgave Underwood for the shooting.

Montague County District Attorney Paige Williams said the plea agreement was "the right outcome for everybody involved."