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The Georgia man found guilty of killing a young child with a stray bullet near an Atlanta mall in December 2020 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Daquan Reed was found guilty on all counts by a Fulton County jury earlier this month in connection to the December 21, 2020, death of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie.
The girl was riding in the back seat of her aunt’s car after going Christmas shopping when Reed fired a gun in the Phipps Plaza parking lot, according to prosecutors.
The prosecution had further claimed that Reed fired the weapon because he was angry he had just been robbed outside the mall.
The stray bullet went through the car the girl was riding in and hit her in the head. She was rushed to the hospital but died several days later.
Reed’s defense maintained that their client was innocent and urged jurors to carefully examine the evidence, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
“We agree; what happened to Kennedy Maxie is terrible, but Daquan Reed is innocent,” defense attorney Nicole Fegan said. “I’m confident that you’ll come back with a verdict that speaks the truth on behalf of Dequan Reed and that’s that he is innocent. He’s not guilty for each and every count charged.”
Kennedy’s mother, Mariah Maxie, and her aunt, Jade Maxie, testified during the trial. They were both in the car when Reed fired the gun.
Reed was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property, possession of a weapon in the commission of a felony and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
“The defendant – like too many people in society today – chose to act out his anger through gun violence, and as a result, an innocent young child lost her life while on a shopping trip with her mother and aunt just a few days before Christmas 2020,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said in a statement following the verdict.
“While nothing we do can undo this murder, we worked tirelessly to achieve justice for Kennedy and her family,” Willis continued. “We hope that this conviction brings some solace to Kennedy’s family and the community that was so deeply hurt by this terrible, senseless tragedy.”