‘He took something real precious away from us,’ Family grieves son, wants harsher penalty

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CHICKASHA, Okla. -- She has forgiven the man who killed her great-grandson, but that doesn't mean Gail White will ever forget what happened. Nor does it mean she thinks the man charged with manslaughter should walk free.

"He needs to be locked up for quite a while," White said, sitting in her Chickasha home. "I want him to be able to live with what he did to Andrew. I think the only way he’s going to be able to suffer is by staying alive."

Boone Buben, 31, is charged with manslaughter after admitting he killed next door neighbor Andrew White, 13.

At first, Buben told police his gun slipped from his hand and discharged when he picked it up. But after taking a polygraph test, Buben changed his story, admitting he pointed the gun at White, who he said was making a clawing motion with some paper claws he had made.

Not thinking it was loaded, Buben pulled the trigger, according to the affidavit.

"I don’t know if they were just horse playing that day or what, we’ll never know," said Robert White, Andrew's great-grandfather. "It’s still rough. Hard to believe."

White and Buben spent time together frequently, his caretakers said, even describing their relationship as like best friends or brothers.

Still, when it comes to the manslaughter charge -- which carries a maximum four-year sentence -- the Whites are lobbying for something more punishing.

"Because I don’t think four years is enough," said Gail White. "But I know Boone is going to pay for what he did because he took something real precious away from us."

Investigators may pursue further charges, but in the meantime the White family is trying to come to terms with the loss of the boy they say "liked everyone."

"It’s been real traumatic," Gail White said. "I just feel like Andrew should be hollering from his room. He hollered every once in a while, he would holler, ‘Grandma, I love you,’ when he was playing his video games. So it’s so hard, I miss him so much."

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