The man who fatally shot his best friend in an accidental homicide last year has been placed on probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the case.
During a sentencing hearing Thursday morning, Sedgwick County District Court Judge Terry Pullman followed the plea agreement negotiated for 20-year-old Octevious Loudermilk and ordered him to serve three years in connection with the killing of Tajay McGee on Oct. 22.
Loudermilk also was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the Kansas Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, which helped pay for expenses associated with McGee’s death.
Loudermilk’s probation carries an underlying prison term of 38 months. That means if he violates the conditions of his probation he could be incarcerated for that amount of time.
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Loudermilk shot McGee, 22, in the head in what police characterized as an accidental homicide. His attorney, Mark Rudy, said Thursday in court the friends were “playing with a gun, loading it and unloading it,” in the basement of the duplex of his father’s home at 828 S. San Pablo when Loudermilk pulled the trigger.
He didn’t know it was loaded at the time, Rudy said.
“This is a situation that is unfathomable to many of us,” he said.
Loudermilk pleaded guilty as charged in March, according to court records. In exchange, Sedgwick County Assistant District Attorney Justin Edwards asked Pullman to place him on probation rather than send him to prison.
Members of McGee’s family, meanwhile, expressed discontent that Loudermilk would go free.
“I know putting … (Loudermilk) in jail is not going to bring him (McGee) back,” McGee’s mother wrote in a letter read Thursday in court. “But some justice needs to be served for his actions.
“It’s unfair that my son’s life was taken. It’s unfair that his son will grow up without a dad. And it will be unfair that the killer will be walking free.”