Ohio man pleads not guilty in daughter's death

AMANDA LEE MYERS Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- An Ohio man pleaded not guilty Monday to reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of his 11-year-old daughter, a death his family called a tragic accident.

Judge Melissa Powers ordered 34-year-old Deandre Kelley held on $500,000 bond.

She cited statements from police that Kelley had threatened to harm himself when he turned himself in Sunday in the shooting of his daughter, 11-year-old Shanti Lanza, early that morning. She also cited his lengthy criminal record in ordering him held, saying his offenses involved alcohol, violence and drugs.

Kelley's attorney, Hugh McCloskey Jr., declined to comment after the hearing in Hamilton County court, saying he didn't yet have all the facts.

Kelley's brother, Antwon Kelley, said outside the courtroom that Deandre never would have shot the girl on purpose and that he was shaken up over her death.

He described his brother as a family man and loving father of seven children who lost his teenage son a year ago in a still-unsolved shooting.

"My brother's not a bad guy," Antwon Kelley said. "He was all about family."

Cincinnati police provided few details about the shooting in a news release and did not respond to multiple calls for comment Monday.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that police said Sunday that Deandre Kelley came home drunk at about 3 a.m. and that his longtime girlfriend, Shanti's mother, refused to let him in.

That's when police said Kelley fired shots into the air, including one that hit Shanti in a second-story bedroom, where she had fled out of fear during the argument between her parents, the Enquirer reported. She died at a hospital.

Antwon Kelley described the relationship between his brother and Shanti's mother as volatile.

He and the Kelleys' uncle, Reggie George, described Shanti as a happy, beautiful child who loved her father. She was a ballet dancer who enjoyed rapping with her father and was set attend the School for Creative and Performing Arts next year, they said.

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Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP

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