A Minneapolis teenager has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the accidental shooting death of a 15-year-old girl in Columbia Heights earlier this year.
Prosecutors say Damico Jamal-Toyko High, who was 16 at the time, was "showing off" his gun before it fired, fatally striking Derryanna Deashia Davis.
High, now 17, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree manslaughter in Anoka County Juvenile Court on Wednesday.
Under extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, he'll receive a sentence in juvenile court, along with an adult prison sentence, according to the Anoka County Attorney's Office. High faces just under five years in prison if he fails to meet the terms of his juvenile sentence.
The attorney's office explains that the sentencing terms are determined by probation and court officials in the county where the defendant lives. For High, that's Hennepin County, which will determine how long he will stay in a juvenile correctional facility. The length and conditions of probation will be determined based on recommendations from Anoka County.
The juvenile petition filed against High states he had been showing off and playing with a gun just prior to the shooting. At one point, while he, Davis and six other teens were hanging out together at an apartment, he pointed the weapon toward Davis — and the gun fired.
High then ran from the scene.
The two remaining witnesses at the apartment when authorities arrived said Davis had been struck by a bullet that had been fired from outside. But crime scene investigators quickly pieced together the shot had come from inside the apartment, and ended up speaking to all six teens who weren't directly involved in the shooting.
According to the witnesses, High, a male friend of his and some others had been at a Wendy's prior to the shooting, and while there, High and his friend were "showing off" that they had guns, the complaint states. They then went to the Columbia Heights apartment.
The six teens provided somewhat conflicting statements about what happened just before Davis was shot.
Some witnesses said High was "playing with the gun, swinging it around and pointing it at the group." Others said he only ever pointed the gun at Davis, according to the petition. At one point, another teen — worried about the High's behavior with the weapon — took the gun from him, pulled out the magazine and put it on a dresser.
But High retrieved it, reloaded it and made a comment suggesting the others should dare him to fire a shot, while pointing it at Davis, the charges allege.
That's when the gun went off, hitting Davis in her upper back.
At the scene, investigators found a Glock with no clip, but a single spent shell casing still inside the chamber.