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Man pleads not guilty in deadly shooting at Redmond party

SEATTLE -- A man who prosecutors say was showing off a gun at a party in Redmond when it fired, killing a young Seattle woman pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Cornelius John De Jong IV has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the February 12 shooting death of 20-year-old Claire E. Thompson.

According to court documents, De Jong was handling the weapon when he pointed the gun at a wall and pulled the trigger in an attempt to show that the gun was empty, but there was still a live round in the chamber.

The bullet went through the wall and hit Thompson, who was standing on the other side.

Medics responded to the home in the 16800 block of NE 97th Street and took Thompson to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she died.

De Jong, 21, had a permit for the weapon and had been drinking in the hours before the shooting, according to the documents.

"We do believe that it was due to reckless handling of the gun that caused it to go off," Redmond Police spokesman Jim Bove said after De Jong was arrested. "We do not believe it was premeditated."

De Jong is being held at the King County Jail on $300,000 bail.

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