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Tyrone woman charged in 2004 shooting of Altoona man

A 41-year-old Tyrone area woman has been charged in the 2004 shooting death of an Altoona man, 23-year-old Starsun Walker.
Carol Jean Bright was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Todd F. Kelly in Altoona on Thursday. She was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Sept. 12, 2004 shooting at an 8th Avenue residence.
A police criminal complaint said Bright shared the residence with Walker at the time of the shooting. Altoona Police said she contemplated suicide on the morning of Walker’s shooting.
Police allege Bright retrieved a gun from a console near where Walker was sleeping. They said she took the gun into a bathroom with the intention to use it to commit suicide. Police contend that after she remained in the bathroom for an extended period, she ultimately decided against suicide.
The criminal complaint said Bright left the room and went to the living room where Walker was sleeping on a recliner.
According to police, Bright walked into the room with the gun pointed in Walker’s direction. They say Walker woke up and was startled by seeing a gun pointed in his direction. They say he moved in the recliner in an excited manner. The move startled Bright who allegedly pulled the trigger of the gun. Walker was struck in the forehead, which resulted in his death.
Police said Bright put the gun in Walker’s lap and left the residence. She stayed at another residence in Altoona until the next day. Police say she told two people about the shooting before it was reported by the news media.
Police said she gave a taped confession about the incident in November after being advised of her rights. Her statements were made in the presence of her attorney, Ted Krol.
Altoona Deputy Police Chief Mitchell Cooper said Bright had been “a person of interest” in the case since the shooting. He said charges were filed this week because the investigation was at the point “where we felt we could prove the charges.”
He said his department consulted with the Blair County District Attorney’s office before filing the charge.
A preliminary hearing for Bright has been scheduled on Wednesday.