ex-Pentagon guard pleads guilty in homeless man's shooting death

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 3 May 1998 18:42:52 -0700 (PDT)



Friday, May 1, 1998; 8:19 p.m. EDT

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A former Pentagon guard pleaded guilty Friday to
accidentally killing a homeless man with a wild shot fired through a window
of a makeshift shack.

John Edward Bell Jr., 34, admitted to involuntary manslaughter in the March
7 shooting as the man walked near the shack.

Bell's attorney, Bernard Grimm, wouldn't discuss the shooting in detail.
Bell did nothing to help 38-year-old Kenneth Allan Grant, coming out of the
shack 30 minutes later after police and ambulances arrived, prosecutors

``There are no good explanations when there's somebody dead,'' Grimm said.

Bell was alone with a sun shade drawn over the shack's window when he fired
the .38 caliber gun, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Chesnut said. Bell was
pointing the gun at the window when it went off, prosecutors said.

A motorist spotted the body and called police. It wasn't clear whether Bell
knew he had hit someone. He told superiors the gun went off accidentally.

Bell faces up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing was
scheduled for July 24.