Mother Examines ‘Unequal’ Justice in Stray Bullet Death of 11-Year-Old Daughter

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City man received two years probation on Thursday for the death of an 11-year-old girl, killed in 2011 by a stray bullet. Blair Shanahan Lane was killed on July Fourth by a random bullet that hit her in the neck while she was celebrating the holiday in a relative's backyard.

Benard Moore, 48, admits he was one of four people who were celebrating the Fourth of July by firing a gun into the air from the Whispering Lake Apartments -- about a thousand feet from where Blair was struck. He and two friends were charged with illegal discharge of a weapon, a city ordinance violation. Moore was picked up on a warrant after he was caught speeding in July. Two other men, 45-year-old Steven Redman and 37-year-old Marvin Skinner, still haven't been picked up even though there are active warrants for their arrest. Only 51-year-old gun owner Aaron Sullivan was charged with a felony. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and received three years in prison.

"The problem was we couldn't prove who it was that actually fired the bullet," said Michael Hunt, the Chief Trial Attorney for the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office. "With Aaron Sullivan we could prove one thing. He was the one who provided the gun that caused the death."

Hunt said under current law, the other three men can only be charged with city violations.

The victim's mother, Michele Shanahan DeMoss isn't pleased with the system.

"I'm sure in people's eyes it's not fair," she said. "I don't know what's fair because nothing is going to bring Blair back." DeMoss said all four men, "probably should've faced the same accountability."

DeMoss is now lobbying Missouri Lawmakers to pass "Blair's Law." The measure would make it a felony to irresponsibly fire a gun into the air.

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