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Fort Hood soldier admits shooting friend while trying to cure hiccups

Killeen Police Department

Patrick Edward Myers

A Fort Hood soldier pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter -- admitting he accidentally shot his friend while trying to scare away the hiccups. 

Spc. Patrick Edward Myers, of Spartanburg, S.C., was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in military prison for fatally shooting 22-year-old Pfc. Isaac Lawrence Young, of Ash Grove, Mo., in the face in September while they were watching a football game at an apartment in Killeen, Texas. 

Myers was also busted to private and will receive a bad-conduct discharge, the Associated Press reported.

Police said three men were inside the apartment on Sunday, Sept. 23, watching a football game and drinking alcohol when one of the men produced a handgun, handled it in an "unsafe manner," and shot the victim in the face.

An arrest affidavit obtained by the Associated Press in September said Myers apparently pointed a gun at the victim's head to scare him and stop the hiccups.

Myers said he thought the gun had dummy rounds when it was discharged. 

The case was tried in military court on the Central Texas Army post because the both victim and suspect were soldiers. Myers has been in the Bell County Jail on a $1 million bond.