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October 01, 2015

Deptford police officer found guilty of murdering friend

Prosecutors said Deptford police officer acted recklessly in 2013 shooting death

A police officer from southern New Jersey was found guilty of murder Thursday in the shooting death of his friend in January 2013.

Deptford police officer James Stuart was found guilty of one count of murder and one count of aggravated assault after prosecutors say he shot David Compton in the face while he was off duty, NBC 10 reports.

Stuart had testified that Compton asked to see his off-duty weapon after the two returned to his home from a bar to watch a movie. His blood-alcohol level was 0.14, well above New Jersey's limit of. 0.08 for alcohol-related offenses.

While Stuart claimed he did not know the gun was loaded and said he would never have intentionally hurt Compton, prosecutors said he acted recklessly.

The friendship between the two was confirmed by testimony from mutual friends.