Lexington KY man sentenced to 10 years after fatal shooting

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A Lexington man originally charged with murder in 2021 was sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Carl Munford, 37, was charged with murder and wanton endangerment in April 2020 in the death of Devante Bell, 28, who was fatally shot in the 1000 block of Pennebaker Drive.

Munford’s charges were later changed after he agreed to plead guilty in March to second-degree manslaughter. The charge of wanton endangerment was dismissed, according to court records.

Munford was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution. The sentence had the option of being considered for probation after a judge ruled the shooting was the result of domestic abuse.

Munford and his attorney tried to have his charges further amended and get Munford probation citing a Kentucky law that says evidence can be presented to establish that the victim had previously committed acts of violence or abuse. servants.

In court papers, a Fayette County judge said that due to language describing domestic violence by a family member, Munford would have been subject to the exemption. However, the judge still denied the probation request, according to court documents.

At the time, Munford was arrested after intentionally shooting Bell, who was inside his vehicle, according to an arrest citation. Police later released information that the shooting occurred when an argument escalated into gunfire.

The shooting happened right outside Munford’s home while he was inside a vehicle with a small child, court records show.

Munford and another witness both testified in court that Bell had committed domestic violence against one of their family members, whom he was dating.

The first incident happened in December 2019 in a fight that Munford described in court that involved Bell, his girlfriend, Munford and his mother-in-law. Bell put Munford in a headache during the fight, according to court records.

It was also revealed that prior to the shooting, Bell’s girlfriend was evicted from her apartment after Bell damaged the apartment and many of her personal belongings, according to court records. Bell’s girlfriend moved into the Munford home and filed an emergency protective order against Bell, court records show. In the petition, the victim said Bell threatened and strangled her.

The victim’s motion for a domestic violence order was later denied because she failed to show up for a court date.

In a bid to prove domestic violence, Munford testified about an incident that occurred about two months before the shooting in February 2021. He said in court that he was approached by Bell at a gas station and that Bell s approached him from behind and shouted, “BOOM”, and threatened Munford’s life.

Munford purchased a handgun the day after the encounter, according to court documents.

On the day of filming, Bell drove to Munford’s home to drop off birthday cupcakes for a child in the house. Bell was informed that he was not welcome inside the house, which led to a verbal argument. Tensions rose and a witness claimed that Bell threatened to “blow up his house”, according to court records.

Munford became angry with Bell’s presence at the house and left, and told Bell to leave before he returned, according to court documents. When he returned, Bell was parked on the street outside Munford’s house. According to court documents, Munford stopped the car, a fight ensued, and Munford shot Bell seven times.

Taylor Six is ​​the criminal justice reporter at the Herald-Leader. She was born and raised in Lexington at Lafayette High School. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 2018 with a degree in journalism. She previously worked as a government reporter for the Richmond Register.

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