A man who lives near Birch Tree is charged with shooting and killing another man on Wednesday night.  The Shannon County prosecuting attorney charged Ray Stark, 27, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of Joshua Scott, 23.  The probable cause statement against Stark says a witness told officers that the gunshot was fired accidentally during a confrontation.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol helped the sheriff's department with the investigation.  The night of the shooting, which occurred shortly before 10 p.m., officers arrested Stark and one of his cousins, Jacob Stark, 26.   Only Ray Stark is charged, as of Friday morning.

The shooting was at a home at 2349 E. 3rd St. in Birch Tree.  Officers who arrived at the home found Scott's body in a pool of blood, according to the probable cause statement.  He had an injury above his left eye and another severe injury to his mouth and lower jaw.

Charles Lawrence, who lives at the home told officers that the Starkses "came by his house to talk with Ray's girlfriend Amy, who was staying the night." Lawrence said Ray Stark showed him a .40-caliber pistol with which he threatened Scott "and told him he had until daylight to get out of Birch Tree or it wouldn't be good for him."

Lawrence told the trooper who wrote the probable cause statement that "Scott stood up and just stared at Ray. . . Ray went to hit Josh with the gun, it went off, and Scott fell to the floor. . . Jacob grabbed Ray's arm and said, 'You shot him.  Let's go.'"  The Starkses then fled out the front door.

Jacob Stark told a trooper that some of the people in the home smoked methamphetamine before the shooting.  Then an argument started between Ray Start and Scott, "they both went outside, and started wrestling with each other."  After they came back inside, Jacob Stark said, they began to argue again. 

Jacob Stark said "Ray pulled a gun out, went to hit Joshua with it, and it went off," according to the probable cause statement.  He described the gun as a gray or silver colored automatic pistol.

Other witnesses were also at the home who "gave consistent accounts of the shooting," according to the probable cause statement.

A judge set Ray Stark's bond at $500,000.  He's being held in the Howell County jail.