Deandre Kelley has been charged with reckless homicide
Neighbor laying flowers at the scene of the homicide
Neighbor placed memorial on victim's porch
11-year-old Achauntiara "Shanti" Lanza
SEDAMSVILLE, OH (FOX19) -
A Sedamsville father has pleaded not guilty to reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of his 11-year-old daughter. His family claims the girl's death was an accident.
Police said Achauntiara "Shanti" Lanza was hit by a bullet fired from her father, 34-year-old Deandre Kelley, on Sunday.
Kelley entered the plea Monday at a hearing in Cincinnati's Hamilton County court. His attorney declined to comment.
According to family members, the incident began after an argument between Kelley and the victim's mother, Kristina Lanza, resulted in Kelley leaving the home. When he returned, Lanza refused to allow him back in to the home because he was intoxicated.
Kelley then allegedly walked to the street and fired his gun in to the air. One of the shots went through the second story window where Shanti was located in the home.
"I went upstairs and the neighbors were trying to revive the little girl and all I could do was just pray for them and comfort them," said a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.
Shanti was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. According to her grandmother, Shanti was a fifth grader who aspired to be a singer and a dancer.
Kelley fled the scene and police searched for him for seven hours before he turned himself in. Friends said he initially refused to believe that his daughter was dead.
Judge Melissa Powers ordered Kelley held on a $500,000 bond.
Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.