Southbury shooting suspect arraigned in Waterbury court, placed under suicide watch By Ethan Fry STAFF WRITER Updated: 11/19/2008 11:07:13 PM EST http://www.newstimes.com/ci_11022412 Ronald Throckmorton was making a cheeseburger on the kitchen stove of his Southbury home Monday when his younger brother, Stephen, pressed a pistol to the back of his head and jokingly said "Safety's off," Ronald's girlfriend told police. "I always do this," Stephen, 19, told the girlfriend just before the gun went off, mortally wounding Ronald, 21. "The gun went off and Ron fell to the ground," the girlfriend told police. "I saw Ron's eye bulge and he started to drool." "Steve was waving the gun around and aiming at (Ron) in the kitchen," the girlfriend said of what had transpired before the shooting. "There was no argument between Steve and Ron before this happened, and I really just thought it was a joke until Steve screamed." Details of the case were made public Wednesday after Stephen Throckmorton was arraigned in Waterbury Superior Court on a charge of first-degree manslaughter in his brother's death. The statement his brother's girlfriend gave was included in a police affidavit supporting his arrest on the manslaughter charge. Judge Frank Iannotti ordered Throckmorton, held in lieu of $250,000 bond and continued the case to Dec. 3. A bail commissioner said in court that Throckmorton has a job as a part-time mason in Warren and lives with his parents, has no adult convictions and is a high school graduate. After the bail commissioner recommended the $250,000 bond set by police stay in place, she and State's Attorney John Connelly approached the judge's bench with Throckmorton's lawyer, Hubert Santos, and spoke for a few minutes off the record. Santos identified his client's mother, father, sister, grandmother and brother-in-law among his relatives and friends in court Wednesday. They left the courthouse later without commenting on the case. "This was an accident," Santos said. "His best friend was his brother." Santos added this was "one of the more tragic cases" he has ever come across, and asked the judge to lower Throckmorton's bond so he can attend his brother's funeral services next week. Iannotti agreed with Santos that the case is tragic, but said he thought the bond was fair. He also ordered that the state Department of Corrections monitor Throckmorton's mental health and place him on a suicide watch. According to the statement Ronald's girlfriend gave police, after the shooting Stephen was crying and saying he was going to kill himself. She also told police Stephen "was a show off" with guns and "I'm sure this was an accident." Throckmorton was already in custody Tuesday on charges of interfering with police and breach of peace, when police charged him with manslaughter for the Monday shooting. Police say Throckmorton fled the scene of the shooting, which touched off a 20-hour manhunt throughout Warren and Southbury until he was eventually found about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at a private home on Mountain Laurel Lane in Warren. He was led into Iannotti's courtroom Monday by several judicial marshals and was clad in a bright orange jumpsuit. His hair hung over his face as he bowed his head for most of the proceeding. Afterward, Santos talked to about 10 of Throckmorton's family members and friends in the courthouse lobby before reiterating his characterization of the Monday incident as an accident to reporters. "They were basically fooling around with a gun," Santos said. "The gun went off. Pure accident." After Throckmorton was taken into custody Tuesday morning, he provided a statement to police, saying he had taken the gun off the kitchen counter, where it had been left without a magazine of bullets in it. Ronald Throckmorton's girlfriend told police Stephen had been shooting squirrels and birds with a shotgun in the home's backyard earlier that morning, and that he had continued to "play with his guns" in the kitchen. "Throckmorton stated he replaced the magazine but did not rack a round into the chamber," the affidavit said. "It was common practice for him and his brother to take the magazine out of the gun and replace it again. "While his brother Ron and Ron's girlfriend ... were making lunch in the kitchen, he pointed his gun at the back of his brother's head from about one to two feet away and pulled the trigger," the affidavit went on. "Throckmorton stated he shot his brother by accident." When police asked Throckmorton where he got the gun, he told police he and Ronald took two .22-caliber guns from another White Birch Lane address, one of which was the gun he used in the shooting. Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman, said Wednesday the investigation into the gun's history and how Throckmorton obtained it is ongoing. _________________________________________________________ At the bottom of the article there is a 5 page copy of the affidavit.