Teen accused of manslaughter claims shooting of girlfriend an accident


An 18-year-old Texarkana, Ark., man accused of manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend claims he shot her with an AR-15 rifle by accident.

Kayden Shay May was charged with murder by Texarkana, Ark., police shortly after the shooting of 18-year-old Abbigayle Thacker but the charges were quickly reduced to manslaughter as the investigation developed. According to a probable cause affidavit, May pointed his rifle at Thacker while she was standing at the stove in their camper trailer.

Emergency medical personnel and police were called to the trailer in the 200 block of South Mosely Road around 5 to 5:30 p.m. Thacker was lying on the floor in front of the stove with a single gunshot wound to the side of her head.

May allegedly told investigators he had started the day by going to work with Thacker’s grandfather and that after leaving work at about 4:30 p.m. he dropped some tools off at Thacker’s grandmother’s home. May said he and Thacker had been sending text messages about cooking dinner and that the two joked about cooking after he returned home.

May allegedly told investigators he thought the rifle was clear of ammunition when he raised it and fired in Thacker’s direction.

“He admitted that putting the rifle on fire and pointing it at the victim was the dumbest thing he had ever done,” the affidavit states. “He stated he could not believe he shot and killed his girlfriend.”

May said he might have accidentally pulled the rifle’s bolt back, causing a round to be chambered. May sought help for Thacker immediately after the shooting from his aunt, who lives on the same property. May attempted CPR but Thacker died at the scene.

The aunt allegedly told investigators that May and Thacker were “best friends” who never fought or argued and described May as a “very good kid.”

May has been released on a $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear March 3 in Miller County circuit court. As a condition of his release, May is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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