Mason man pleads guilty in death of 15-year-old Dunbar student



A Mason man charged in the shooting death of a 15-year-old Dayton Dunbar student pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges and faces more than 20 years in prison.

Jackeem Collins, 20, entered the guilty plea in connection to the death of Qua’Lek Shelton. Prosecutors allege that on Feb. 16, 2020, Collins shot a handgun six times into a group of young teenagers who gathered at the corner of Catalpa Drive and Sunnyview Avenue.

Prosecutors said he shot randomly into the group and killed Shelton, a rising track star and a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School. The shots also wounded a 16-year-old boy, prosecutors said.

A judge previously wrote that Collins told police he fired the gun into the air and no one was supposed to get hurt. A request for comment from Collins’ defense team wasn’t responded to Monday.

Along with pleading to the involuntary manslaughter charge, court records say Collins also pleaded guilty to a five-year firearm specification and two felonious assault charges. He is set to be sentenced on Jan. 26 where he faces between 22 to 25 years in prison, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

The case has been making its way through the justice system since Collins was indicted in March of 2020. His defense team attempted to bar statements made by Collins to police from trial but was denied.

A jury trial was scheduled to start on Monday, according to court records. Collins remains in the Montgomery County Jail.

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