Kevin Lee, the man charged with the shooting death of 31-year old Tenika Fontanelle, rejected the plea deal offered to him in court in Thursday morning morning and instead requested a trial.
Lee, 17, has been charged with second-degree murder while armed, carrying a pistol without a license outside home or business, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, two counts of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The prosecutor said the plea deal offered a sentence ranging from 12 to 29 years, if Lee pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. When Judge Liebovitz asked the prosecutor if they could offer a more “narrowed down” sentence, the prosector said no, but this would not be the end of the conversation regarding a plea deal.
Fontanelle was killed on 1300 block of Congress Street in SE on Aug. 18 in her apartment. When police arrived, they found Fontanelle, a male juvenile and Lee with gunshot wounds. According to charging documents, the Fontanelle’s 12-year-old son and Lee two males were engaged in an argument when Fontanelle was shot, allegedly by Lee, inside her home. Lee and the son were also shot during the fight. All three were taken to the hospital. After further investigation, Lee was arrested and police found multiple other guns and ammunition in his room, leading to the additional charges.
Lee told police that he and Fontanelle were fighting and she may have shot herself. He also said the 12-year-old and his group of friends had been taunting him, throwing rocks and sticks while he and another friend were walking which caused him to confront the boy at his house.
Lee’s trial is expected to start in November and he will appear in court on May 24.
Fontanelle’s family has set up a Go Fund Me fundraiser for Fontanelle’s two surviving children, who witnessed her murder.