Grant teen charged with manslaughter in New Hope shooting

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – A Grant teenager has been charged with manslaughter after a shooting in New Hope on Monday night. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said Jacob Tanner Bearden, 19, was charged Tuesday. Deputies said they were called to a shopping center in the 10000-block of Highway 431 around 8 p.m. Monday. One man who used to live in the Madison County area says when he was nervous when he heard about the shooting. Richard Blanch says he thought “one of our friends got hurt and one of our friends might be dead.” Blanch is friends with the owner of “Extreme Vaping,” a shop inside the strip mall where the shooting took place, and was concerned he or his family was hurt. “We were real hard-pressed to tell which side it was but we were concerned because we knew TJ, his wife, the babies… and we were hearing young people getting hurt,” says Blanch. According to the sheriff’s office, 21-year-old Nathan Helton of Grant died at the scene from a gun shot wound. When deputies got to the shopping center, they say they found Jacob Tanner Bearden. He was taken into custody from the scene. Bearden was charged with manslaughter Tuesday, the next day. While the investigation is ongoing, the Sheriff’s Office said it appeared Bearden was “recklessly handling the gun when Helton was shot.” “My heart goes out to any family member or anybody that loses a family member,” says Blanch. Deputies said they found drugs at the scene as well. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at (256) 533-8820 or on the Sheriff’s Office website. Madison County Sheriff’s deputies, New Hope Fire and New Hope police officers were at the scene. Investigators were focusing on one of the vacant storefronts at the strip mall next to Jerry’s Sportsworld Gun and Pawn.

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