November 28, 2014

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Ohio dad held in girl’s death can’t attend her funeral

 

Deandre Kelley reacts in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Thursday as he is denied release to go to his daughter's funeral on Saturday. Kelley is charged in the shooting death of 11-year-old Shanti Lanza. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Amanda Rossmann) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

Deandre Kelley reacts in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Thursday as he is denied release to go to his daughter’s funeral on Saturday. Kelley is charged in the shooting death of 11-year-old Shanti Lanza. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Amanda Rossmann) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati man jailed in the accidental shooting death of his 11-year-old daughter was denied his request Thursday to attend the girl’s funeral, with a judge saying that public safety trumps his grief.

In an emotional hearing in Hamilton County court, Judge Nadine Allen said that too many members of the public and some relatives are angry to allow Deandre Kelley, 34, to attend the funeral Saturday of young Shanti Lanza.

Allen said the neighborhood where the funeral will be held is not particularly safe and that Kelley will have to “grieve symbolically.”

Kelley’s attorney, Hugh McCloskey Jr., had argued that Kelley’s presence at the funeral would help the whole family begin healing and suggested the possibility of allowing Kelley a private viewing away from the public “to say goodbye to his daughter.”

Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said allowing that would be wrong.

“He’s a horrible person for what he did,” he said. “He shouldn’t go to the funeral, he should go to prison.”

Allen’s decision prompted Shanti’s mother, Kristina Lanza, to sob loudly in court and appear to nearly faint. She had wanted Kelley to attend Shanti’s funeral, saying the shooting was an accident.

Kelley had previously pleaded not guilty to reckless homicide and pleaded not guilty during the hearing to three new charges, including involuntary manslaughter, endangering children and having a weapon under disability.

If convicted on all counts, Kelley could face up to 17 years in prison.

According to Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters, Shanti was having a slumber party with several friends Sunday when her mother, Kristina Lanza, began arguing with Kelley about him bringing a gun into the home. Lanza ordered Kelley out of the house, but he returned drunk around 3 a.m., prosecutors said.

The children, who were downstairs watching TV while Lanza slept upstairs, opened the door for Kelley, who walked in, turned and fired a gunshot out the front door, prosecutors say.

Shanti then ran upstairs for her mother, who again ordered Kelley to leave. That’s when Kelley walked out and fired two shots into the air. One of them hit Shanti’s lung, who was hiding in an upstairs bedroom. She later died at a hospital.

Deters said Kelley had previously been charged three times with domestic violence but was never prosecuted because Lanza refused to testify.

“This is the end of the road for this enabling,” Deters said in a statement. “He needs to be in jail, and the rest of them (Shanti’s family) should be looking in the mirror for the reason this little girl is dead.”

Relatives have described Shanti as a happy, beautiful child who loved her father. She was a ballet dancer who enjoyed rapping with her father and was set attend the School for Creative and Performing Arts next year, they said.

Kelley’s brother, Antwon Kelley, described his brother as a family man and loving father of seven children who lost his teenage son a year ago in a still-unsolved shooting.


  • formerlorainresident

    “Kelley’s brother, Antwon Kelley, described his brother as a family man and loving father of seven children who lost his teenage son a year ago in a still-unsolved shooting.”

    Why are all these criminals described as “loving, family men.”

    34yo, seven kids and not married to any of their mothers. The mother is as responsible as him, since she would not testify in three previous Domestic Violence cases against him. If she did, knowing his tendency toward violence, this poor excuse for a human may have been locked up and the child still alive.

    So he has now lost two children to shootings, one at his own hands. Oh well, he still has several more to go. Maybe he can attend one of their funerals in the future.

    • Mike Litoris

      fam·i·ly
      ˈfam(ə)lē/
      noun
      1.
      a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.

      A family man he is not.

      • Mike Litoris

        sperm donor
        English
        Noun
        sperm donor (plural sperm donors)
        A man who donates sperm, usually anonymously, to a sperm bank or fertility clinic.
        (US, slang, derogatory) A man who is the father of a woman’s child(ren), but no longer has a relationship (or has a hostile relationship) with the woman, and is typically uninvolved with the children as well. (Compare with baby mama).

        Bingo.

  • Neley

    Idk what to think… since he didnt intentionally kill his daughter he shoulda been allowed to sttend..this man is grieving if he wants to risk his life to say goodbye then do b it…

    • Brian_Reinhardt

      He killed his daughter by walking outside and shooting INTO the upstairs of the house where his girlfriend was, not up into the air.

      Who was he really trying to hit?

    • formerlorainresident

      Not just his life he is risking, but all those who attend this funeral. Another “stray” bullet fired by some angry family member? Hit another child who is attending?

      All actions have consequences. It stinks when you are forced to face them…. doesn’t it?

  • http://lorain365.wordpress.com/ Lorain 365

    “One of them hit Shanti’s lung, who was hiding in an upstairs bedroom.”

    Her lung was hiding in an upstairs bedroom? All by itself?

    Nice to see that even the AP doesn’t get it right all the time.
    A good reminder to cut our locals some slack once in a while.