Crime

‘Alcohol, a handgun and very poor judgment.’ Man gets 10 years for manslaughter.

Donald Owen Roark Jr. was arrested in January 2016, shortly after Corenz White was shot to death. Roark was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for manslaughter.
Donald Owen Roark Jr. was arrested in January 2016, shortly after Corenz White was shot to death. Roark was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for manslaughter. Fayette County jail

A Lexington man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for the January 2016 shooting death of Corenz White.

Donald Owen Roark Jr. was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter at a trial in May.

Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Roark to 10 years.

In January 2016, police found White, 28, with a gunshot wound to his chest in the parking lot of University Trails apartments on Red Mile Road.

White’s death was the second homicide in 2016.

Standing beside defense attorney Derek Gordon during sentencing, Roark said he wanted to tell the family that he was sorry.

“It was just a freak accident,” Roark said. “I honestly don’t remember anything that happened that night.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Paco Villalobos asked the judge to deny probation to Roark. To do otherwise would send the wrong message to a community that sees a shooting nearly every day, Villalobos said.

Judge Travis said the shooting happened because of a lethal combination of “alcohol, a handgun and very poor judgment.”

Roark, who was 25 at the time of the shooting, has credit for 565 days served in jail. Villalobos said the commonwealth will seek restitution of $13,942 for White’s funeral expenses.

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