A 19-year-old man from Lake Wales, Florida, is accused of fatally shooting his mother after she told him to stop smoking in the house on Thursday morning.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd stated at a press conference on Friday that after returning home, Seth Settle’s mother started to smell smoke coming from his room and opened the door and started telling him to stop smoking.
“[As] she closes the door, he shoots her through the door,” the sheriff said at the conference, which was posted online by Fox 5 Atlanta.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the unidentified victim died around 10:30 a.m. Thursday at a local hospital.
Settle told detectives he was sitting in his room when his mother told him to “stop smoking in the house” and walked out. Settle said he fired a gun at the door. When he came out of his room, he found his mother unresponsive, so he called an ambulance and left in a car.
Judd said Friday that Settle confessed. “But he colors the event in his best interest. He tells us that he’s depressed…He said that ‘Mom opened the door to get onto me about smoking and I was holding a gun to my head. And she told me to put the cigar out and close the door and the gun accidentally discharged.’ We don’t believe that.”
The sheriff stated in writing: “[Settle] fled the scene without rendering aid, then he arranged for a friend to dispose of the weapon. These are not the actions of a man who just accidentally killed someone. He knew exactly what he was doing.”
The teen is charged with second-degree murder with a weapon, tampering with evidence, and five counts of giving false information during an investigation.