Story Summary

Drug-Fueled Russian Roulette Leaves 16-Year-Old Dead

Six friends, alcohol, marijuana, and a handgun – that’s the concoction that has left a 16-year-old dead and his friend in Ottawa County Jail.

 

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 6 updates

usher copyTALLMADGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The 18-year-old man who was involved in a deadly game of Russian roulette earlier this year was sentenced Thursday to at least  three years in prison.

Richard Usher Jr. pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to his involvement in the incident, which killed 16-year-old Brandon Kuiper. He was sentenced to two years for a felony firearms charge and at least one year for attempted manslaughter.

Usher, Kuiper and four of their friends were in a basement in Tallmadge Township in early March when Usher fatally shot Kuiper with a handgun.  Alcohol and marijuana were both factors in the crime, according to police.

usher copyGRAND HAVEN, Mich.  – 18-year-old Richard Usher Jr pleaded no contest to manslaughter.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said Usher was involved in a deadly game of Russian roulette on March 8th. That game killed 16-year-old Brandon Kuiper.

The sheriff’s department said Usher pulled the trigger.

Usher is scheduled to be back in court on November 4.

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. – Richard Usher Jr., 18, faced judge Kenneth Post for his preliminary examination on Wednesday.

Usher and his attorney, Phillip Sielski, were in and out of the 58th district courtroom within a minute.

The 18 year old is now headed to circuit court on charges of manslaughter and felony firearms.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said Usher was involved in a deadly game of Russian roulette on March 8th. That game killed 16 year old Brandon Kuiper.

The sheriff’s department said Usher pulled the trigger.

Usher is scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court on April 1st.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.  -  Friends and family are mourning the death of teenager in Ottawa County.

Brandon Kuiper, 16, passed away on Friday after he was shot in the face playing a Russian Roulette-type game earlier in the week, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

Richey Usher is accused of pulling the trigger.

“Richey, himself, is a country guy, so he has guns, I know (kids) would go over there and shoot guns and go squirrel hunting and do all that other stuff,” explains Trey Tetro, a classmate of both Brandon and Richey.

“(Richey) would never use (the guns) to harm someone.”

It’s still hard for Trey to comprehend what happened to his friend.

“Brandon, he was outgoing, he was always nice to everybody, really.”

On Wednesday March 6, deputies in Ottawa County say Brandon and five other teens were hanging out at Richey’s house – there was alcohol, marijuana, and a gun.

Trey says was not hanging out with the group that night.  Instead, he found out the next day at school that his long-time friend, Brandon was somehow shot in the face.

“…and I said, ‘is this, like, a joke or something?’”

The 15-year-old quickly learned this wasn’t a joke.

“(Brandon’s) brother actually told me he was on life support, he’s fighting for his life right now,” Trey remembers.  “I had that thought in my head that he was going to make it, he’s fighting, he was a strong guy, you know, I thought he was going to make it.”

But, by the end of the week, the boy passed away from his injuries.

“I lost it in front of all my friends,” Trey admits.

And it’s still hard to keep it together now.  Trey says counselors and teachers at his school, Allendale New Options High School, try to help, but he’s decided – even after losing his buddy at such a young age – he’s not changing the way he lives his life; Brandon wouldn’t want him to.

“’Oh, is this going to be my last day?’ (Brandon) would never want something like that so I just live each day, like I have no worries.”

And he’s not mad at Richey, who at 18-years-old is sitting behind bars in Ottawa County.  In fact, Trey plans on sending a postcard to him in jail.

“I will never hate Richie, I know it was an accident,” he sighs.  “It’s tragic that I lost Brandon, but Richey was there and Richey (accidently pulled the trigger), so I’m pretty sure he feels a lot worse than I do.”

Autopsy results for Brandon Kuiper determined the cause of death was “homicide by gun shot.”

Richey Usher was originally being held on attempted manslaughter charges, but since his friend passed away, he’s now charged with manslaughter and could be facing 15 years in prison.

brandonGRAND RAPIDS. MICHIGAN – According to police 16-Year-Old Brandon Kuiper has died at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital.

Investigators say Kuiper, and five of his friends all between the ages of 16 and 19 were in the basement at a home on the 3900 block of Leonard Street in Tallmadge Township on Wednesday night,when a game of Russian Roulette ended with Kuiper being shot in the face.

Richey Usher, 18, has been charged with attempted manslaughter and felony firearms possession. On Friday, officials added the charge of manslaughter.

TALLMADGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Six friends, alcohol, marijuana, and a handgun – that’s the concoction that has left a 16-year-old with no brain activity and his friend in Ottawa County Jail.

Richey Usher, 18, has been charged with attempted manslaughter and felony firearms possession.

The victim, Brandon Kuiper, is in “very critical” condition at Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids.

Investigators say Usher, Kuiper, and four of their friends – all between the ages of 16 and 19 – were in the basement at a home on the 3900 block of Leonard Street in Tallmadge Township on Wednesday night.

FOX 17 sat down with Usher’s grandfather, who lives at the home. He said that his grandson is the one who shot his friend. Both of the boys attend New Options High School in Allendale.

The shot was fired from a .22 handgun that belonged to the grandfather, investigators say.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s investigation shows that the teens were under the influence at the time of the shooting.

“There’d been some alcohol use down there,” Lt. Mark Bennett said. “There’d been some use of some drugs – some marijuana. A very dangerous mixture, as you can imagine, and now you put the firearm in play, and now we have a tragic result.”

Bennett says the kids told investigators that this isn’t the first time they’ve engaged in this potentially deadly game.

“In the last few months, similar events have taken place at that same residence with what we believe to be the same gun,” he said.

Bennett says investigators are still looking into more details of the case.

Advertisement