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Covington man pleads guilty to shooting, killing 16-year-old

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Posted at 12:54 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 12:54:30-05

COVINGTON, Ky. — A Covington man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to shooting and killing a 16-year-old in 2019, according to Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders.

David Jesse Henry, 19, pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Jaden Casey.

Henry told authorities on Sept. 22, 2019 that the shooting was his fault. He said he hadn’t realized the handgun he was holding was loaded, and he accidentally shot Casey in the back of the neck. Henry also told investigators that he and his friends had smoked marijuana before they handled the guns.

First responders transported Casey to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died.

Sanders said this is the third case in Kenton County in as many years that someone has shot and 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, Sanders said. In August 2017, Marquil Brooks shot his girlfriend, Kelly Cocagne, after having smoked marijuana. Both Gray and Brooks pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter and were sentenced to five years in prison.

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

Sanders is recommending a five-year prison sentence for Henry.

Henry is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing at 9 a.m. on April 7.