Roulette trial set for July

The 18-year-old Tallmadge Township man charged with the shooting death of one of his friends is now scheduled to go to trial in Ottawa County Circuit Court.
Becky Vargo
Apr 2, 2013


Richard Mack Usher waived his Circuit Court arraignment on Friday, and his trial is set for July 9-12 on charges of manslaughter and felony firearms. He remains jailed on a $350,000 bond.

Authorities say Usher shot 16-year-old Brandon Kuiper in the face on March 6. The two were playing Russian roulette with four other teens in the basement of Usher’s home in the 3900 block of Leonard Road.

Kuiper died two days later at a Grand Rapids hospital. Police said they believe alcohol and drugs were being used by the youths.

Neighbors said they felt that Usher was troubled and that it was only a matter of time before something happened with their free use of guns.

A look at Usher’s Facebook page revealed some comments from earlier in the year about dissatisfaction with some situations:

“F*** all of you two faced mother f****** I’m done….” was posted on Feb. 24.

A post from Feb. 19 reads: “Gahh motherf******….School why u do dis.”

When shown these posts at a recent social media workshop, school liaison officers from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said they didn’t see anything unusual about what he’d posted.

“It’s normal teenage stuff,” said Deputy Derek Gerencer.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



“It’s normal teenage stuff,” said Deputy Derek Gerencer.

I disagree. If that's considered normal teenage stuff by law enforcement then it's no wonder why we're having so many issues with teenage crime and suicide. This may be the "new" normal, but it's far from normal human behavior. Kids that are so angry are time bombs waiting to have their fuse lit. How long until the next one goes off?


I agree Less. Nothing normal about that behavior. What needs to be understood is what is behind the behavior. What led kids to believe this is acceptable behavior.


Unfortunately, it is normal. Teenagers and young adults post everything on their social media sites, and much of it can be considered appalling and/or disturbing. Legions of "authorities" would need to be assigned just to track it all down and investigate. I loathe our cultural obsession with all things electronic, and I'm sickened by incessant advertising that makes it appear our lives will be better if only we embrace (and purchase) the latest electronic gadget. They are marvels of technology and useful, of course, but nobody talks to anyone anymore. Groups of kids huddle outside the high school and they are all staring at their smart phones. Passengers we once conversed with on the airline are focused on their phones and tablets, and can't be bothered. Even when I go to the "Y" for exercise, virtually everyone is tuned into their ear buds and cannot engage in good old banter. It seems our humanity is diminishing.
I know I'm getting way off topic from this story, but much of what is wrong with our culture and a narcissistic upcoming generation, I think, can be attributed to our obsession and dependence on electronics. If I was into conspiracies, I would think it's almost a plot of some sort to rob us of our children.


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