Crime

15-year sentence possible for shooting a 15-year-old Jessamine student twice in the head

Tyler D. Jeffers, 18, left, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Jan. 12 shooting of Leo Travers, 15, on Garden Park Drive in Nicholasville. While trying to get away from the gunfire, a woman drove over a fire hydrant, shown in the photo.
Tyler D. Jeffers, 18, left, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Jan. 12 shooting of Leo Travers, 15, on Garden Park Drive in Nicholasville. While trying to get away from the gunfire, a woman drove over a fire hydrant, shown in the photo. Charles Bertram

A Nicholasville teen pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the shooting death of an East Jessamine High School student, according to court records and media reports.

Tyler Jeffers, 18, initially entered a not guilty plea on March 27 in the slaying of 15-year-old Leo Travers, of Nicholasville. He was charged with murder, wanton endangerment, evidence tampering, receiving a stolen firearm and criminal attempt to sell a controlled substance to a minor.

Instead of murder, Jeffers pleaded guilty Thursday to the reduced charge of manslaughter, according to court records and media reports. He also pleaded guilty to the remainder of the charges.

The prosecution recommended a 15-year sentence for Jeffers, according to WKYT. Sentencing for Jeffers is scheduled for Nov. 9.

The Jan. 12 shooting happened after a planned marijuana transaction turned violent, according to Nicholasville police. According to the indictment, Jeffers had a plan “intended to culminate in the selling of a quantity of marijuana to a minor while he was armed with a handgun.”

Jeffers initially told police he did not know Leo, but in a later interview, he acknowledged to police he had met him and shot him when Leo grabbed at Jeffers’ pockets, police said.

Leo was shot twice in the head, police said in the preliminary hearing in January.

The grandfather of Jeffers, Albert McKinney, is charged with helping his grandson hide the gun used to shoot Leo. His next status hearing is also scheduled for Nov. 9.

According to McKinney’s arrest warrant, he “moved the weapon into a tote” while the police officers were searching for it.

Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson

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