PRESS RELEASE, 1/16/2014

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces indictment of father who shot daughter

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the indictment of Deandre Kelley (DOB 9/8/79) in the shooting death of his 11-year-old daughter Achauntiara (“Shanti”) Lanza.  Kelley is charged with 1 count of Involuntary Manslaughter (Felony 1), 1 count of Reckless Homicide (Felony 3), 1 count of Endangering Children (Felony 3) and 1 count of Having a Weapon Under Disability (Felony 3).  The disability is based on a prior conviction in Kentucky for Possession of Cocaine.  If convicted of all charges, he faces the possibility of 17 years in prison.

On January 12, 2014 at approximately 3:00 a.m. the Cincinnati Police Department responded to 800 Delhi Avenue for reports of shots fired with injury.  That home is the residence of the victim, defendant, victim’s mother and victim’s siblings.  When the police responded, they found Shanti suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso.  She was transported to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. on January 11th, Kelley and the victim’s mother had been arguing because he brought a gun into the home. The victim was having a slumber party that evening and there were several additional children at the home.  The victim’s mother ordered Kelley out of the house because the children were there.  Kelley left the residence and went drinking with a friend. When Kelley returned at 3:00 a.m. with the gun he was under the influence of alcohol.  Kelley knocked on the door of the residence and was let in by the children, who were watching TV on the first floor. The victim’s mother was upstairs sleeping. As Kelley entered the residence, he turned and fired a shot out of the front door. At that point, Shanti ran upstairs to tell her mother about the gun. Shanti’s mother came downstairs and ordered the Defendant to leave the premises.  As Kelley was leaving the residence, he fired 2 additional shots.  One of the shots hit Shanti who was hiding in an upstairs bedroom. 

Kelley had 3 prior domestic violence charges involving the victim’s mother which were dismissed for want of prosecution when the victim’s mother failed to appear in court. 

Prosecutor Deters commented, “There has been a lot of public discussion that the “system” failed this family.  This defendant has been charged with domestic violence three times and was never convicted because the witness would not cooperate.  Now, in an incredibly senseless act, he has killed his daughter and the mother wants him to attend the funeral.  This is the end of the road for this enabling.  He needs to be in jail and the rest of them should be looking in the mirror for the reason this little girl is dead.”