KANSAS CITY -- A Jackson County judge imposed the minimum sentence Tuesday on one of three men convicted of killing a 14-year-old girl two years ago at a south Kansas City water park.
Dominic McDaniel, 20, made a deal with prosecutors where he agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and testify against the other two men charged in the case: one who assaulted Alexis Kane, 14, and another who shot and killed her.
His lawyer successfully argued that McDaniel was simply a passenger in a car with the other two men. He did not have a weapon and he did not assault Kane.
Shelley Peters says McDaniel took responsibility for his role in the crime by pleading guilty and cooperating with prosecutors in testifying against Ce-Antonyo Kennedy and Issac Carter.
"When someone is in custody for two years and four months at such a young age, they start reflecting and thinking about what brought them to this place," said Peters, McDaniel's lawyer. "Which is what Dominic did. He started thinking, 'Gosh if I wasn’t hanging around with these guys, I wouldn’t be here.'"
In court, Peters told the judge that McDaniel received death threats from relatives of the other two men and was attacked while in custody. Authorities transferred McDaniel to the Clay County Jail for his own protection.
Judge John Torrence sentenced McDaniel to the minimum, 5 years in prison. Because of time he's already served, McDaniel could be paroled in as little as eight months.
Given this second chance, McDaniel has earned a GED and hopes to attend trade school. Alexis Kane's family did not attend the sentencing. McDaniel's mother declined to speak with FOX 4 afterwards.