22-year-old man to be sentenced in death of 3-year-old boy playing with gun in Detroit

Demetrius Peals and Kinesha Boyd are charged in the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy in Detroit. (WDIV)
Demetrius Peals and Kinesha Boyd are charged in the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy in Detroit. (WDIV)

DETROIT – A Detroit mother and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to several charges in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy who shot himself while playing with a gun on the city's east side and the boyfriend is expected to be sentenced Tuesday.

Demetrius Lorenzo Peals, 22, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and felony firearms violations. A charge of tampering with evidence was dismissed.

Kinesha Boyd, the boy's mother, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and lying to a peace officer.

Police said the boy, Kyrei Boyd, was fatally shot Dec. 6, 2017, at a home in the 11700 block of Rossiter Street. He was shot at about 7 p.m. and rushed to St. John Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 3-year-old boy fatally shot on Detroit's east side

Police questioned Peals, who turned himself in Dec. 6, after police announced he was considered a person of interest.

Police said Kyrei was playing with Peals' gun when it went off, fatally wounding him.

Police: Boyfriend ran out with child in arms

Assistant Detroit police Chief Arnold Williams said the child was shot in the face. Williams said emergency medical officials were at the scene of a body that was found in the 11000 block of Morang Avenue when Peals ran out of an apartment building across the street with a child in his arms.

Demetrius Lorenzo Peals
Demetrius Lorenzo Peals

Police said Peals gave Kyrei to the officials, who realized the child had a gunshot wound on his face. Officials took the boy to St. John Hospital in critical condition, but the child died from his injuries.

Peals was not seen after he passed Kyrei off to medical officials, but he turned himself into police the next morning. 

"It's senseless," Williams said. "There's no reason for any child to lose their lives. This should never happen. It should never happen. It's inexcusable."

Police originally were called to the scene to investigate a body that had been found across the street from the shooting. It's unclear if that person's death was suspicious or natural, but Williams said the child was able to get to the hospital quickly only because medical officials were already right across the street.

Police: Mother said shots fired during neighbors' conflict

Williams said Boyd told police there was a conflict between neighbors and the gunshot was fired from outside the apartment building, but officers didn't find evidence of shots fired from outside.

Williams said police believe the shot was fired inside the home. Boyd was in the home with Peals, the 3-year-old and a 1-year-old child. Police believe Boyd and the 1-year-old child were in another room when Peals ran outside with the victim.

No weapon was found inside the home. 

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