A newly reenlisted Marine from central Minnesota was fatally shot while visiting a fellow soldier in Texas, and the dead man's mother said on Wednesday that she believes the shooter's explanation that it was an accident.
Cpl. Aaron Talley, 24, who grew up in Clarissa, was shot on Sunday in San Antonio. Philip Pavelko, 25, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, was charged on Monday with manslaughter and freed after posting $30,000 bail.
Pavelko told investigators that the two joked around after dinner at the apartment Pavelko shared with his fiancée and had no idea that the shotgun he handled was loaded, according to police.
Talley's mother, Roxanna, said, "There wasn't any malice. I have to know that in my heart." She said her son and Pavelko "have known each other for years. ... This guy is going through a lot, too."
Aaron Talley, who was based at the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar in Southern California, planned to be present at his buddy's marriage next month, Roxanna Talley said.
He "really liked the corps," had just reenlisted and was anticipating a promotion to sergeant while weighing whether to make the military a career, his mother said.
Talley, a corrections specialist at the Miramar brig, joined the Marines in 2007.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Paul Walsh 612-673-4482