Man gets 15 years for manslaughter, being persistent offender

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David Kelly Trent/Fayette County Detention Center

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 44-year-old Lexington man whose criminal record goes back 24 years is sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter.

David Kelly Trent pleaded guilty on Aug. 27 to the reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter in the Aug. 17, 2017 shooting death of Adan Perez Mejia, according to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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According to Fayette County Detention Center records, Trent initially was charged with murder, being a persistent felony offender, felon in possession of a weapon and evidence tampering. Jail records also show he was first arrested in 1996.

As part of the plea agreement and sentencing Friday, the murder charge was reduced to manslaughter and the other charges were retired, according to the newspaper. The persistent felony offender status was reduced to second-degree.

“I take full responsibility,” Trent said from the Lexington-Fayette County Detention Center during his virtual court appearance according to the Herald-Leader’s report. “I’m ready to get this behind me and start a new life.”

During the hearing, Trent apologized for Mejia’s death but his attorneys still said they considered taking the case before a jury because Trent said the shooting occurred during an argument and self-defense was involved, according to the newspaper..

Prosecutors recommended 10 years for the manslaughter and five years for the persistent offender status, the newspaper reported, and Judge Kimberly Bunnell followed the recommendation.

Trent also was ordered to pay $4,800 restitution for Mejia’s funeral expenses., the report said.