Community in shock after teen charged with friend’s death - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Community in shock after teen charged with friend’s death

A community is in shock as a Columbus teen faces involuntary manslaughter charges for the accidental shooting death of his best friend.

Tracy Powell, the former head baseball coach at Hardaway High School, coached Joseph Conner Weeks for three years along with one of his good friends, Morgan Springer.

"Good kid.  Good kid to coach.  Know no enemies.  He was the type of kid that had you know all his teammates liked him.  He got along well with everyone," said Powell.

Powell explained it was easy to see the two players were more than just teammates.

"Through practice and even having them in weight training classes together and on the baseball field, you could tell that they were very close."

The 18 year old Shaw High School student was killed Saturday night in what Columbus Police are calling an accidental shooting. 

Police say Springer, 17, was holding a shotgun when it discharged, killing Weeks.  Now, Weeks family and friends are preparing to say good-bye, and Springer is facing involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges.

Lynn Kerce says she was good friends with both the victim and the suspect.

"They were always inseparable.  We would go to Club Hill to go swimming and you would always see Conner's big red truck by Morgan's 4-Runner.  They were always together.  You couldn't go pick up Morgan without picking up Conner," said Kerce

Kerce, wearing a shirt for Weeks in his favorite color, says he and Springer were the best of friends.  Now, their fellow students at Shaw and Hardaway are mourning after losing one friend and seeing another facing charges for his death.

"They're going to the library for counseling, and nobody's talking in the hallways, and you don't eat lunch.  You just sit there and people will sit around and talk about the memories they have with Conner, and they laugh a little bit, but just everybody ends up crying.  It's so sad," said Kerce.

Visitation is scheduled for Weeks at McMullen Funeral Home in Columbus on Wednesday from 6:00-8:00pm.  His funeral will be Thursday at 11:00am at Cascade Hills Church.  Springer is listed as a pallbearer at the funeral.

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