Kenneth Garner pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

A 24-year-old who killed a man in a fight last July pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Wednesday.

Kenneth Garner accepted a plea deal recommending 90 months in prison in exchange for a guilty plea for the manslaughter charge in the death of Thomas Harris. Garner was initially charged with first-degree felony murder.

According to prosecutors who presented the deal in D.C. Superior Court,  Harris, 52, was found on the ground gasping for air, bleeding from his head on July 5. He was taken to the hospital and died later the next day. According to an autopsy included in charging documents for Garner, Harris’ cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.

Prosecutors said Harris confronted Garner in an attempt to buy prescription drugs from him. An argument ensued in which Garner pushed Harris to the ground, which injured his head and ultimately lead to his death.

As part of a plea offer, Garner also pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon for a prior incident inside a shelter, where he slashed a man in the eye after the man didn’t respond when asked for the time.

A final decision on both plea offers now sit with the judge. Sentencing for the involuntary manslaughter charge is scheduled for December 11.

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