Texarkana teen charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of girlfriend

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A 19-year-old Texarkana, Ark., man was formally charged with manslaughter this week in the Feb. 20 shooting of his girlfriend.

Kayden Shay May allegedly told Texarkana, Ark., Police Department investigators that he pointed an AR-15 rifle which he believed was clear of ammunition at his girlfriend, Abbigayle Thacker, 18, as she stood in front of the stove in their camper trailer in the 200 block of South Mosley Road. A round from the weapon struck Thacker in the side of her head and exited her neck, according to a probable cause affidavit.

May allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana the morning of the shooting before working all day for Thacker’s grandfather but denied being under the influence at the time of the shooting. May reported that he left work around 4 p.m. and dropped tools off at Thacker’s grandmother’s house before driving home to the camper on South Mosley. May allegedly said he and Thacker had communicated via phone about cooking dinner and that there were no problems in their relationship.
“He kept saying he believed the rifle was clear of ammunition,” the affidavit states. “He admitted that putting the rifle on fire and pointing it at the victim was the dumbest thing he had ever done. He stated he could not believe he shot and killed his girlfriend. He said he may have accidentally pulled the bolt back before he released the magazine, causing the round to be entered into the chamber: He then put the gun down and ran to get help from his aunt.”

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May’s aunt told investigators that May is a “good kid” who has never been in trouble and said that May and Thacker had a good relationship. May attempted to perform CPR on Thacker but she died at the scene.

A criminal information formally charging May with manslaughter was filed this week by Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black. The information alleges May “recklessly caused the death of another person.”

May is currently free on a $20,000 bond and is prohibited from possessing any firearms.

Manslaughter is punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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