BOISE, Idaho — Prosecutors have officially filed murder charges against a shooting suspect days after the 22-year-old victim died in the hospital.
Jed Daniel Earls, 31, is charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Police say he shot James "Matt" Cuellar at a gathering at a home on Owyhee Street Jan. 15.
Cuellar's family told KTVB that Earls had been mocking the appearance of the 22-year-old, who was born with a facial deformity. When Cuellar stood up for himself and told Earls to leave him alone, the victim's sister said, the suspect pulled a gun and shot him in the chest.
Cuellar was hospitalized in critical condition, and died from his injuries early Friday morning. Earls, who was originally charged with aggravated battery, has been held in the Ada County Jail since the shooting.
An arraignment on the murder charge was set for Monday afternoon. If convicted, Earls faces up to life in prison.