Sailor charged in October shooting death of teenage friend granted bond

By JANE HARPER | The Virginian-Pilot, Tribune News Service | Published: November 22, 2016

VIRGINIA BEACH- A sailor who claims he accidentally shot a teenage friend during a playful exchange outside her Virginia Beach home was granted bond Monday by a Circuit Court judge.

Alec Wagner has been held without bond on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless handling of a firearm since the Oct. 4 shooting death of 18-year-old Aleigha Michelle Hawkingberry.

Circuit Judge Stephen Mahan granted Wagner a $10,000 bond after the prosecutor and defense attorney told him Wagner has no prior criminal history and that neither believed him to be a danger to the community.

Among the conditions set by the judge, Wagner may not handle a firearm outside his duties with the Navy, and he must stay at his grandmother's home in Chesapeake or wherever the Navy places him.

Wagner, 22, sat shaking and crying at the defense table during much of the court hearing. Members of Hawkingberry's family also wiped away tears as they heard prosecutor Tom Murphy summarize the events leading up to and immediately after the young woman was shot.

Wagner called 911 the night of the shooting in the 1100 block of Mondrian Loop, located near Holland Road and Lynnhaven Parkway. When emergency responders arrived, he was kneeling over Hawkingberry and applying pressure to her neck, where she had been shot, Murphy said. She was still breathing at that time but died a short time later.

The two former Landstown High School friends had recently reconnected through Snapchat and had gone out the night of the shooting, according to a search warrant request filed in Circuit Court.

Wagner took Hawkingberry home and was showing her his gun during playful "banter" outside of her house, Murphy said. Wagner was sitting in the car and Hawkingberry was leaning against the driver's side window . It was at that time that Wagner accidentally struck the gun on the steering wheel and it fired, the prosecutor said.

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