Stepdad says he is not a murderer - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Stepdad says he is not a murderer

Brian Gale Brian Gale

A McIntosh County man indicted on murder charges after his stepson died on a hunting trip is speaking out.

Brian Gale says he was hunting with his stepson Daniel in the Buffalo Swamp in McIntosh County when they got lost.

"I was carrying him for 12 hours until I couldn't carry him anymore. It was dark, and I didn't know where I was because of the darkness," Gale said.

Gale said he made the decision to leave Daniel clinging to a tree so he could go find help.

When they returned several hours later, Daniel had drowned.

A grand jury indicted Gale for murder, involuntary manslaughter, cruelty to children, and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

"That was a total surprise. Murder? It was not murder. I take responsibility for taking him there but that is not murder," Gale said.

Gale said that since his stepson's death, his life has been miserable. He is constantly questioning the decision he made in the swamp and he says his family is torn apart because he is separated from his wife.

Gale said all he can think about is losing the 15-year-old boy he loved like a son.

"He told me 'Brian - I'm glad you're my dad' That just sticks with me. I miss him so much," Gale said.

If Gale is convicted of felony murder, he could face an automatic life sentence.

He said he will not accept a plea deal. He admits he may not have made the right decision because of the condition he was in, he insists he is not a murderer.

"I would rather go to the gas chamber than admit I did anything to hurt him. It is just not true," Gale said.

Gale is scheduled to be arraigned in McIntosh County on June 14.

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