Bluffton man to serve 1 year for Christmas 2011 shooting

rlurye@islandpacket.comJanuary 3, 2014 

Andrew Bogart

SUBMITTED PHOTO

A Bluffton man began a one-year sentence Friday for the fatal shooting of his friend Christmas Day 2011.

Andrew Bogart, 33, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Dec. 12 and was sentenced to one year in jail with two years of probation, according to court records.

In the early morning of Dec. 25, 2011, Bogart and three other men were at a home on Jade Stone Court in Bluffton when Bogart loaded his pistol and began passing it around.

The gun later went off in Bogart's hand while he was aiming it at 25-year-old Adrian Hilliard of Bluffton. The bullet struck Hilliard in the head, Lt. Col. Bill Neill of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said. Hilliard died later that morning.

Bogart ran away before deputies arrived but turned himself in about a week later.

Interviews with witnesses revealed the men had been smoking pot and drinking. An autopsy of Hilliard found he had not been drinking but had trace amounts of marijuana in his blood.

Involuntary manslaughter is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, according to state law. Prosecutors were required to prove criminal negligence, defined as the reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Bogart was also charged with another crime before his trial.

On Jan. 7, 2012, while being held in the Beaufort County Detention Center, Bogart was accused of smuggling drugs into the jail. Staff smelled the odor of marijuana in his cell and after a search found a small amount lodged in the tongue of his sneaker.

Bogart was released the next day on a $50,000 bond on the involuntary manslaughter charge, before a warrant was issued on the drug charge. He was charged with felony contraband possession on Jan. 20, 2012.

Bogart also pleaded guilty to the drug charge Dec. 16 and will serve the one-year sentence for that crime concurrently with the manslaughter sentence, according to court records.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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