Metro mom gets justice for late daughter nearly three years after death

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Justice has been served for a metro mother, whose 11-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet. Blair Shanahan Lane was killed nearly three years ago.

Prosecutors say four men were firing a gun into the air near where the young girl was celebrating July Fourth with family. Shortly after Blair was shot and killed, police traced the bullet to a gun owned by a Kansas City man.

That man told police he and three others had fired into the air that night. A warrant for all four men was issued

But it wasn't until recently that the last man, Marveon Skinner, was found and arrested and this week finally sentenced in municipal court for firing the gun that killed Blair.

Instead of celebrating this week what should have been her daughter's graduation from the 8th grade, Michele Shanahan Demoss stood inside a Kansas City courtroom marking the end of a long, drawn out process.

"It is done. You know I'm sorry to her that it happened. I live with that everyday. There was no way as her mom that I could have protected her. I didn't see it coming," she said.

It's been two years, 10 months and eight days since Demoss has gotten to see her daughter smile or hear her laugh.

"It's a chapter of my book that I wish wasnt written," she said.

The 11-year-old was killed by what Demoss calls a "foolish and deadly decision" by four men.

Blair's friends, last day of 8th grade was Tuesday. Graduation from Nativity of Mary is Thursday.

"She should be getting excited about high school. But she's not. She is in heaven and I am here and you know?" Demoss said.

Skinner pleaded guilty Tuesday to firing a weapon in city limits -- a misdemeanor. Skinner received a suspended sentence, probation and 10 hours of community service each month for a year.

"That 10 hours is significant in, you know, recalling the crime and recalling Blair.  I don' condemn them, they have a life to live. They made a tragic decision that ended with a tragic result. Blair should still be here," Demoss said.

Demoss now spends countless hours fulfilling Blair's legacy and advocating for stiffer punishments for illegally firing a gun in city limits.

"Really to me, she won the race that we're all fighting everyday to win. She has excelled beyond any expectation I had for her," she said.

Demoss says Skinner declined her invitation to speak with her. As for the others sentenced in this case. Aaron Sullivan is serving prison time for involuntary manslaughter, he owned the gun. Bernard Moore and Steve Redman also received probation and community service on the city charge.

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