ALEXANDRIA, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota teenager accused of accidentally shooting and wounding his friend with a gun he got as a high school graduation present has pleaded not guilty.

Eighteen-year-old Logan Evans, of Plankinton, is accused of pointing a 9 mm pistol at 17-year-old Nick Lawson and pulling the trigger as a joke, thinking the gun was unloaded. Authorities say the gun went off while Evans and Lawson were traveling on Interstate 90 between Mitchell and Alexandria on June 22, and a bullet hit Lawson in the chest.

Evans is charged with aggravated assault and reckless discharge of a weapon. He could face up to 16 years in prison if convicted.

Lawson had surgery after the shooting. Family spokeswoman Jan Kristensen tells The Daily Republic that he's now recovering at home.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.