Two South Carolina boys, aged 8 and 9, are facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the accidental death of a farmer in late June.

According to Oconee County Sheriff's Office, the young boys are being charged for their alleged roles in the shooting of Danny Andrew Smith. The 62-year-old, a farmer by profession, was found shot to death on his family's property outside Walhalla on the evening of Wednesday, June 23. His wife visited the property that day looking for him after not being able to make any contact with him, and sought the help of law enforcement after not being able to locate him.

Police eventually discovered his body slumped over a running tractor, crashed into a tree at the bottom of an embankment, with a single .22 caliber gunshot wound to the back.

The Sheriff's Office filed a petition in the South Carolina family court this Friday with the intention of formally charging the pair of unidentified minors with involuntary manslaughter. Sheriff Mike Crenshaw said in a press release, "After a consultation with the Solicitor's Office, and based on the evidence obtained in our ongoing investigation, we believe that both juvenile males discharged a firearm in a reckless manner in the direction of Mr. Smith who was bush hogging on some family property."

"At this time, it is still undetermined which shot ultimately struck and killed Mr. Smith. However, based upon South Carolina law, the hand of one is the hand of all and that is why family court has been petitioned in regards to charging both juveniles with involuntary manslaughter," he added.

Police have not yet revealed if they found any motive behind the crime, but confirmed that the murder weapon, a .22 caliber rifle, has been recovered. It is not yet clear where the firearm was obtained. It is currently being examined at the SLED forensics lab in Columbia.

The minor boys currently remain in the custody of their parents while police further investigate the matter, as South Carolina law dictates "juveniles under the age of 10 cannot be detained."

Crime scene tape
A representational image of a crime scene. (Pixabay)