Teen who killed mother of two sentenced to 19 years

A teenager who aimed to shoot at 12-year-old but instead struck and killed the boy’s mother, was sentenced to 19 years in prison as part of a plea deal on Friday.

Kevin Lee, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was sentenced to 15 years for voluntary manslaughter while armed and four years for assault with a dangerous weapon for the killing of Tenika Fontanelle. Fontanelle, a mother of two, was shot inside her home on August 18, 2015.

According to the prosecutor, Fontanelle’s 12-year-old son and Lee were involved in a fight earlier in the day. Fontanelle’s son and his friends were taunting Lee, and threw rocks and sticks at him. Lee returned to his home, retrieved a gun out of his bedroom and went to Fontanelle’s home, intending to shoot the 12-year-old. Lee, the 12-year-old and Fontanelle were all shot in the altercation inside the home. Lee told police that he and Fontanelle were fighting, and she may have shot herself. Both Lee and Fontanelle’s son survived. 

After further investigation, Lee was arrested and police found multiple other guns and ammunition in his room, leading to additional charges.  According to the prosecutor, Lee had also made threats to kill the 12-year-old several months prior. 

Lee pleaded guilty to the charges last November.

During sentencing, the victim’s mother told the judge Lee deserves more than 20 years. Fontanelle’s brother, Tayvon Johnson, who now takes care of Fontanelle’s children testified, and spoke of how the children will miss their mother on every holiday, and will live with the day they saw their mother killed.

Lee, who is the father of a 2-year-old apologized to the family, and said it was a mistake. He lamented that his own son will not have a father growing up. 

After the sentencing, emotional family members on both sides starting arguing and fighting. US Marshals escorted everyone out of the courtroom.


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