SEATTLE -- The courtroom was silent as a judge prepared to read the sentence for a 16-year-old boy who fatally shot his brother last year while handling a gun.
But King County Superior Court Judge Harry McCarthy said justice needed to be tempered with mercy, and sighs and sobs ripped through the room as Jordan Tautua-Jantoc learned he won't serve time in prison, but rather will spend two years on electronic home monitoring.
Jordan rushed to has family after the sentence was handed down and was embraced in strong hugs from family and friends.
"I want to say thank you for my family for always being there for me. I love you guys a lot and thank you for being there for me - for everybody," Jordan said following the sentencing.
"Just wanted to thank God," said his mother, Lena Jantoc. "It was in his hands and it came out in our favor."
Jordan pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement in the shooting death of 15-year-old Michael Miller.
Court documents say the Jordan and Michael were playing with an Airsoft pellet gun last September when Jordan pulled out a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun from underneath his bed. He obtained that gun from a friend at school in exchange for his stepfather's gun and a promise of $100.
The two teens were handling the gun when it fired, striking Miller in the chest.
Jordan and his family have maintained that the shooting was accidental.
"A lot of people are going to think that he got off, but he didn't," said Michael's father, Tim Miller. "And being at home, I have to tell you, is in a lot of ways harder than being in jail. Because, as I said to the judge, he (Jordan) can see our misery. As emotionally as how you saw (me reacting) today, I'm that way every day."
Judge McCarthy also ordered Jordan to spend time in the community teaching other young people about the danger of playing with guns.