Friday, April 4, 2014

Ohio Black Dude Gets 6 Years for Accidentally Killing his 11-Year-old Daughter

Deandre Kelley
Local news reports

A Sedamsville father has pleaded guilty in the accidental shooting of his 11-year-old daughter back in January.
Deandre Kelley, 34, will spend the next six years behind bars.
Kelley admitted to being drunk when he fought off his longtime girlfriend and fired two shots into the air. One of the bullets struck Shanti Lanza who was hiding in her upstairs bedroom.
Cincinnati Police responded to the 800 block of Delhi Avenue in Sedamsville on January 12.  Achauntiara "Shanti" Lanza, 11, lived there with her mother, siblings and Kelley. Police found the girl suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso.
She was transported to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
Kelley was indicted on one count each of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, endangering children and having a weapon under disability.
In exchange with the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering children. 

The title of this post refers back to this recent story.


  1. You said that guy (the father who killed his 9 year old daughter you linked) didn't need to go to jail, so I must assume you don't think this guy should go to jail, or do you think this guy should go to jail?

    1. I appreciate your consistency.
      Obviously this is an inconsistency in rulings from the court system. We know (from facts) that there is institutional race bias in our judicial system and their rulings.
      I still think the other guy should get jail time. That speaks to the rest of the public, to hopefully think before they make a stupid, deadly mistake.

    2. And I appreciate your consistency.

  2. Ah yes. Must be racism. Couldn't have ANYTHING to do with the fact that this guy was drunk and was purposely and recklessly firing two shots upward rather than negligently firing one shot. There's just No Way that those factors could be seen as worse behavior deserving of a worse sentence...

    1. A worse sentence? You say that like it was slightly worse. It was like night and day. The white guy got a slap on the wrist and the black guy got the book thrown at him.

      Being drunk and shooting a gun compared to being stupid and forgetting there's one in the chamber are pretty close. The dead kid is why this guy is going to jail for a good long stretch. The white guy got probation. You don't see a disparity there?

    2. Again, intoxication is ONE factor. It exacerbates a bigger difference--the PA guy forgot the gun was loaded, didn't control where it was pointed, and negligently fired. Here, we have two shots fired, one of which hit the girl--might have been either. If you negligently fire a gun, you don't sit there and pull the trigger again. If you're doing something stupid and reckless, like firing a gun to scare off someone you're arguing with, you're doing something intentional which makes it a level worse than the negligent discharge. Then, when you pull the trigger again, that's another intentional act with disregard to the safety of those nearby.

      This isn't a simple case of two guys did stupid things, two kids were killed, give the same punishment.

      One guy did something negligent and accidentally killed his child.
      The other guy did something reckless and likely criminal in and of itself, did it repeatedly, and killed his child.

      This alone would be reason for a sentencing disparity.

      Something I also didn't mention before--look at that one charge--possession of a weapon under disability--aka, he was a prohibited person with a criminal background. That works against you in sentencing. If you want probation only after an involuntary manslaughter conviction, you better have a squeaky clean record--otherwise, you're going to do at least part of the time.

      In that same vein, let's analyze the plea in this case--we're told he was indicted on four charges and that in exchange for the plea, the state dropped two of them. When we look at which ones were dropped, we see that the conviction was for Reckless Homicide and Felon in Posession--two felonies. His plea for those was severe enough that they dropped the "involuntary manslaughter" charge so that it wouldn't add more time onto the sentence. That lesser charge with they dropped was the felony the PA guy pleaded to.

      So, Here's how it stands:

      Guy 1: No criminal record, negligent act kills child, pleads guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter, given probation. No exacerbating factors like intoxication and being in a fight when shot happened.

      Guy 2: Felon. Reckless discharge--Two times--kills child, pleads guilty to Reckless Homicide and Felon in Possession, has two Lesser charges dropped (one of which is Involuntary Manslaughter that was top charge for Guy 1) and gets 6 years. Exacerbating factors: drunk at time of shooting, repeated shots, shots were part of a domestic dispute.

      Under this fact pattern, Guy 2 is going to get more jail time than Guy 1, and he should.

      And you'll notice that their skin color has no bearing on that demonstration of the HUGE disparity between the cases. Now, if the skin colors were reversed and Guy 1 got more time than Guy 2, we'd definitely be seeing a problem. As is, this disparity passes the sniff test unless you can provide some convincing evidence.

  3. Niether of these cases are similar. From what I see in the article, Kelley seems to have intentionally fired his firearm during a physical altercation and appears to have fired,(claimed) warning shots, though more than likely the girlfriend pushed the gun upwards during the fight. Either way, its arguably a minimum of aggravated assault. He intended to fire the weapon.
    Davis intentionally pulled the trigger on what he believed to be an empty weapon, an act that while negligent, had no intent to fire the weapon. Davis pled guilty to a felony, and I'm guessing Kelley will become a felon also.
    Sentencing is up to the judge, though there might also be some requirements for a minimum sentence in Ohio.

    1. Kelly did a plea deal for probation, but the plea was to a felony.

    2. They're both finished with gun rights. That's not in question. My point is that to put a guy in jail for ACCIDENTALLY or UNINTENTIONALLY killing his kid is not necessary because he's already punished more than that by having to live with what he's done.

    3. Well, in this case, it was a plea deal agreed to by all parties. I'm surprised he wasn't also charged with aggravated assault. He also appears to be a prohibited person, at least at the state level.

      "Kelley was indicted on one count each of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, endangering children and having a weapon under disability. The weapons charge is because Kelley has a prior conviction from Kentucky for possession of cocaine, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office said."

      "Kelley and the victim's mother argued because he had brought a gun into the home. Shanti was having a slumber party that evening and several additional children were at the residence.
      Shanti's mother ordered Kelley out of the house because children were there. Kelley left the residence and went drinking with a friend, prosecutors say. When Kelley returned at 3 a.m. with the gun, he was under the influence of alcohol. Kelley knocked on the residence's door and children let him inside.
      The victim's mother was sleeping upstairs. Prosecutors say as Kelley entered the residence, he turned and fired a shot out of the front door. At that point, Shanti ran upstairs to tell her mother about the gun.
      Shanti's mother went downstairs and ordered Kelley to leave. As Kelley departed, he fired two more shots. One of those shots hit Shanti who was hiding in an upstairs bedroom.
      Kelley has three prior domestic violence charges involving the victim's mother which were dismissed when the victim's mother failed to appear in court."

    4. Wit that description of the incident, I'd say you're right. There should have been a charge for aggravated assault, as well as more counts of endangerment since we apparently have three shots fired by a drunk carrying around a loaded gun. Depending on how the statute in Ohio is written, Aggravated Assault might have led to a charge of felony murder.

      It looks like the prosecutor left plenty off the table that he could have put on if trying to throw the book at this guy. Makes me wonder if the prosecutor is lazy or is principled and dislikes the modern trend of throw the book so that any deal seems like a good one.

    5. But neither one intentionally meant to hurt anyone.

    6. No, and that's why both cases are not murder charges. However, the difference here--it being Recklessness rather than Negligence is because he was clearly acting intentionally and with a gross disregard for the life and safety of others--recklessness--as opposed to gross negligence in the other case.

    7. So the guy who pointed and shot a gun at his daughter (even thinking the gun was empty) wasn't acting negligently, just recklessly? Given pointing at gun at anyone you don't intend to shoot is breaking a basic gun safety rule, I'd say it's more than reckless, it's negligence.

    8. Simon, your distinction between recklessness and negligence brings up my point exactly. Negligence is not taken seriously enough.

    9. Anonymous,


      "wasn't acting negligently, just recklessly?"

      Recklessness is the more severe crime under our system, which I made clear. Why are you trying to invert that to start a fight?

    10. Mike,

      It's not "my" distinction--it's a legal distinction made because we want to make it clear that when your behavior is bad enough to rise to the level of the recklessness standard you should receive more censure and greater punishment.

      My highlighting this distinction doesn't say anything about whether negligence is taken seriously enough. Eliminating the distinction and treating negligence like recklessness would be going soft on the reckless by comparison.

      If having an ND gets the same punishment as wildly firing into an occupied house then you are either over-punishing the negligence or under-punishing the recklessness.

      The place we have our disagreement outside this case is the level at which something becomes criminal negligence, not the difference between felonious negligent homicide and felonious reckless homicide.

  4. This is a really sad story. Mr. Kelley's actions are inexcusable. If I were the judge, I would have issued a much longer prison sentence to Mr. Kelley.

    -- TruthBeTold

    1. And to the other guy I compared this to? What would you have sentenced him to?

    2. I would, because the law is not just about one persons act, but to deter others from similar acts. Why should it matter if the person killed was a blood relative, or not? People who have killed their relatives in a drunk driving incident are sitting in jail.

  5. In both of these cases, these are men who would be a hell of a lot happier today if they had never owned guns. Unlike the Florida woman who kept a double-barrel shotgun under her bed, (sensible!), these were dummies who played with their weapons like toys. Made their life a living hell. No Father of the year award for these poor fellows. The biggest difference is that Mr. Davis can get psychiatric counseling, keep his job, sleep in his own bed and nurse his wounds in the comfort of his own home. And you guys are right, the cases are very dissimilar. Davis actually pointed the weapon at his own child and pulled the trigger. I'd say a very dangerous personality disorder.

    I think one of the powerful arguments that Mike attempts to point out is that the chances of an accidental discharge, a homicide or even having one's own weapon used against themself vastly outweigh any chance to exercise that fantasy defensive gun use. But I guess it's not about the usefulness of gun ownership, right? It's a way of life, (and death.)

    1. "Davis actually pointed the weapon at his own child and pulled the trigger. I'd say a very dangerous personality disorder."

      Junior, I don't see any indication in the articles that he was play aiming at the child--they seem to indicate more of a situation where he was showing off the gun, not paying attention to where it was pointed, and pullled the trigger, hence the fact that the charge was involuntary manslaughter.

      Were it what you're envisioning--man pointing the gun at the kid, looking down the sights, and pulling the trigger intending to dry fire the gun, I'd consider that enough to bring a charge of reckless homicide.

    2. "Davis actually pointed the weapon at his own child and pulled the trigger. I'd say a very dangerous personality disorder."

      I haven't seen anything that suggests that either incident involved any aimed fire, but a lack of awareness of where the gun was pointing. And, as you said, the two cases are very dissimilar. One involves a person who was drunk, involved in a physical fight, has a criminal record, and intentionally shot a firearm at a home with what appears to be any regard about where those little bullet things go afterwards.
      The other guy is about as different in these aspects as you can get. The difference is highlighted by the disparity of sentences that both received.
      On a side note, I do appreciate your calmer response.

    3. Even a four-year-old child with a cap gun knows which way it is pointing. Cowboys and Indians anyone?

    4. Junior,

      Sometimes these things happen when the person is holding the gun sideways so that they or another person can look at it--they may think that the gun is pointed in a safe direction when, in fact, it is sweeping someone off to their side. That has been the case in many of these events that I have heard of or seen described in detail in the papers.

      And what I said above bears repeating--if it was a case like I just discussed, I agree with the involuntary manslaughter conviction. If it was what you are envisioning, I'd say reckless homicide like in this Ohio case.

  6. Sure is good this moron had a gun. Of course, he's as stupid as any other gunsuck. What's the difference between this stupidity and ssgmarker doing the same? A moment of inchoate rage, and too much to drink. GUNS RUIN LIVES.