Man who fatally shot 2-year-old sentenced to 18 years

March 5, 2020 GMT

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a 2-year-old was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison.

Marquis Thurman, 23, was one of two men who pleaded guilty in January to manslaughter and evidence tampering in the death of 2-year-old Nova Gallman.

Fayette County Circuit Court Judge Julie M. Goodman sentenced Thurman to 18 years and ordered him to pay $1,800 in restitution, news outlets reported Thursday.

Nova was with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend on Dec. 5, 2016 when Thurman and Adrian Dunn, 23, showed up to buy marijuana. The pair demanded money from the couple, an argument broke out and gunfire erupted. Nova was shot once in the head with a stray bullet and the mother’s boyfriend was shot several times.

It was recommended that Thurman serve 18 years for manslaughter and five years for evidence tampering but Goodman decided to run the sentences concurrently. Goodman said she took into consideration the circumstances surrounding the shooting such as Thurman’s age at the time and his lack of previous criminal history.

“I think you have destroyed many lives,” Goodman told Thurman before he was sentenced.

Thurman was originally charged with murder, first-degree assault, wanton endangerment and first-degree robbery but pleaded guilty to the lesser charges.

Dunn also pleaded guilty to the lesser charges in January. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in April.