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Man Guilty of Manslaughter After Deadly Handling of Handguns with Friends

A Covington man pleaded guilty this week to a charge of second degree manslaughter stemming from a September incident in which one of his friends was killed.

David Jesse Henry, 19, of South Covington, told investigators that he and friends were handling handguns at a home on the 3000 block of Sugarcamp Road when one of the guns went off.

16-year old Jaden Casey was shot in the head and killed.

Henry told Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape that he did not know the handgun was loaded when it fired. He also admitted to having smoked marijuana before handling the weapon.

Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders is recommending a 5-year prison sentence when Henry appears for sentencing on April 7.

According to Sanders's office, when police arrived at the scene, Henry approached an officer and stated that the shooting was his fault. A search of the residence led to the discovery of multiple handguns, marijuana, and a spent .40 caliber shell casing.

Commonwealth's Attorney Sanders said this is yet another sad example of drugs and guns mixing with deadly results.

"With the right to bear arms comes the duty to bear those arms responsibly," said Sanders. "This is the third Kenton County case in three years of defendants who killed a friend or loved one after smoking marijuana."

In June 2017, Dhezon Gray shot his friend, Zachary Pouncy, in the chest after smoking marijuana in a friend's garage.

In August 2017, Marquil Brooks shot his girlfriend, Kelly Cocagne, after having smoked marijuana in a residence the couple shared.

Pouncy and Cocagne were both killed.

Gray and Brooks each pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter and were sentenced to five years in prison.

"Irresponsible gun use can have deadly consequences for innocent victims," said Sanders. "And those who wantonly take innocent life will face prison."

-Staff report

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