Joshua Bailey, 34, pleaded guilty in Platte County Circuit Court June 13 to involuntary manslaughter, being a felon in possession of a weapon, unlawfully discharging a firearm while intoxicated, and armed criminal action.
In his plea, Bailey admitted he hosted a Super Bowl party at his residence on Homestead Road in Riverside on February 3. He also admitted having at least four shots of tequila and smoking marijuana. At approximately 8:30 p.m., Bailey called 911, saying he had shot his friend, Joshua Anderson.
He told the 911 operator “my gun accidentally went off,” “I did not know it had a bullet in the chamber,” and “I’m going to jail.”
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said, “Fifteen years is a long prison sentence for an accidental killing. But the truth is this: Joshua Anderson would be alive today had this defendant, a convicted felon, not illegally possessed a gun while intoxicated. People can debate the extent of the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, but we should all agree that existing gun laws should be vigorously enforced.”
Bailey was charged as a felon in possession of a firearm because he was convicted in 2003 of possessing a controlled substance in Jackson County.
Zahnd said, “In Platte County, we will aggressively prosecute crimes committed with firearms. I am a strong supporter of the Constitution’s right to bear arms. But that right has to be exercised responsibly. Felons who possess guns and criminals who use guns to commit crimes need to know that lengthy prison terms await them.”
Judge Owens Lee Hull Jr. sentenced Bailey six-year prison terms for manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a weapon and three-year terms for unlawfully discharging a firearm while intoxicated and armed criminal action. Hull ordered each of the sentences to run consecutively, with the exception of the charge for discharging a firearm while intoxicated.