Third Suspect Pleads Guilty in Murder of Covington Teen

A third defendant in the shooting death of a Covington teen pleaded guilty on Wednesday.

James Young, 19, is believed by prosecutors to have provided the gun used in the shooting death of 19-year old Desean Peterson in October 2013.

Young pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and second degree assault. Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Casey Burns recommended a 15-year prison sentence. Young would have to serve 85% of that before being eligible for parole.

In October, two other suspects in the Petersen murder case pleaded guilty for their roles. Eugene Smith, 19, and Hassan Abdullah, 19, pleaded guilty to facilitation of murder and second degree assault (a bystander was also injured when Peterson was shot). They admitted to being in on the planning of Peterson's murder and to being in the car from which the bullets flew.

Sanders is recommending fifteen years for Abdullah and ten for Smith. They will be sentenced in February. Young faces a judge for sentencing in April.

Three other suspects include Jacob Cardenas, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, Jamel Darden, 21, and Reginald Bates, 20, who face trial dates between December and April.

-Staff report

Photo: James Young (provided)