Ex-soldier, friend indicted in woman's accidental death

Riley Feller (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Riley Feller (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Hesson (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Hesson (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Two men already facing charges for beating up a homeless man have now been indicted for the reckless homicide of a their friend.

Riley Feller, 25, an former soldier, is charged with having weapons under disability and reckless homicide. His friend, Michael Hesson, 25, is charged with having weapons under disability.

Investigators say Feller accidentally shot and killed Hesson's girlfriend, Janice Svajda, on Jan. 6 in a Norwood apartment while he was drinking and messing around with a 9mm handgun. Investigators say Feller was showing the gun to Svajda when it accidentally discharged, hitting Svajda in the chest.

Police say both Hesson and Feller were in possession of the gun. If convicted of these charges, Feller faces 13 years in prison and Hesson five years.

Both men are facing felonious assault charges for the brutal beating of a homeless man in April. Feller faces sentencing for the beating later this month. Hesson's case is pending a plea or trial setting on Jan. 20. Both men face up to eight years in prison.

"Miss Svajda should be alive today," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. "This case is yet another sad reminder that alcohol and guns are a deadly combination."

Army officials say Feller was discharged from the Army last year, but failed to give a reason.

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