Man who confessed to killing 8-year-old boy to spend days behind bars
Elgin Anders always said the gun slipped from his fingers, which were covered in bar-b-que sauce, but the family of 8-year-old Andre O'Neal Jr. never bought that defense.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man who confessed to killing an 8-year-old boy may not spend even eight days behind bars.
Elgin Anders always said that it was an accident -- that the gun slipped from his fingers, which were covered in bar-b-que sauce.
"I licked the bar-b-que sauce off my fingers, and it slipped right out of my fingers," Anders said in a Jan. 2016 interview.
"It was a real shocking moment we didn't really know what to do," he added.
But the family of 8-year-old Andre O'Neal Jr. never bought that defense.
"I don't believe his story," said Porchia Harris, O'Neal's mother. "I don't believe he's telling the truth about anything."
On Tuesday, Harris simply watched in disbelief as Anders was sentenced to two years for killing O'Neal.
"I'm devastated," Harris said. "He should have got more time then that."
Anders rushed the child to the hospital himself after the gun fired in Jan. 2016 at a Shawnee home. He had been visiting a babysitter who was at the home. O'Neal's family says the fact that Anders didn't wait for an ambulance always put a cloud of suspicion over his story.
The prosecutor says she couldn't prove murder because the evidence wasn't there and the gunman had no criminal history, so Anders took a plea deal admitting to reckless homicide.
"Unfortunately, we have a culture in this community where we are tolerant of guns, and tolerant of people handling guns around kids, and what happened was tragic," said Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Christie Foster.
Anders won't spend those two years behind bars. He's been on home incarceration since early 2016 while the case was pending, so he'll be released almost immediately.
"There is nothing Mr. Anders can do today, judge, to undue this situation," Alex Dathorne, Anders' defense attorney, said in court Tuesday morning. "If he could, he would. Nothing is going to bring this young man back."
Despite the sentence, Harris did get to speak to Anders face-to-face Tuesday morning, to tell him how she felt.
"He made me very happy," she said of her son. "He told me he loved me everyday, and did a lot of things together...and I can't do that anymore."
"You took him away from me," she added, sobbing.
Anders is only in jail now until the state processes the paperwork on his case. He has already served the time owed on home incarceration.
Anders' attorney says when he walks free, he's moving back to Missouri to play college basketball.
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