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1 shot, 1 charged with murder in Sedalia

Devonta Hernton
Pettis County Sheriff's Department
Devonta Hernton


A man was shot and another was arrested Sunday afternoon in Sedalia, and was eventually charged with murder on Monday.

Officers detained two people and arrested Devonta M. Hernton, 20.

Hernton was charged with second-degree felony murder, unlawful use of a weapon, armed criminal action and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He is being held at the Pettis County Jail without bond. A court date has not been set. The complaint states that Hernton allegedly fired a hand gun "with a field of fire in which children were playing outside in their yard."

Officers found the 21-year-old victim, Felix Cooley, near West 18th Street and South Sneed Avenue with a gunshot wound, the Sedalia Police Department says in a news release. The victim was taken to a hospital. Police did not initially describe his condition in the release.

The probable cause statement says Cooley was found with a gunshot wound to his head. Two people – including Hernton – were detained, according to the statement. The second person was not named in the statement.

The statement says “a number of 9mm casings were found behind a blue vehicle and one was found in front of it.” The probable cause statement also says a bullet was found in the vehicle. Court documents also say that Hernton had brought police into the residence – which all three people were staying at – and gave law enforcement a gun that was hidden behind a television, that another man with Hernton allegedly placed after the shooting. Another gun was found at the residence, the statement says.

Court documents say a bullet was found in an interior wall.

Hernton allegedly told police that that a white car was following him, the victim and another person as they were walking east on 18th Street before going into an alley at South Sneed Avenue. Hernton allegedly said the car then stopped and a man with a gun got out of the car and started shooting and Hernton, the victim and the other person ducked behind the blue car, court documents say. Hernton then allegedly started firing back, according to documents. Hernton allegedly said the man in the white car was responsible for shooting the victim, the statement says.

The probable cause statement also says that a detective stated the victim was shot in the left temple, “making it likely he was hit with one a Devonta’s rounds, however, this cannot be confirmed at this time.” Hernton allegedly told law enforcement that he did not recognize the shooter from the white car.

Hernton allegedly told police that the victim stayed behind the car the entire time the shooting occurred and didn’t fire back because they didn’t have a gun, according to court documents. Hernton described the victim as being near the front, passenger area of the blue car. After the shooting stopped, Hernton told police that he and the other person he was with ran back to the house and realized the victim wasn’t with them once they arrived at the house, the statement says.

Hernton and the other person allegedly went back to the scene and saw the victim laying on the ground, the statement says. Hernton allegedly then told police that the other man he was with took the gun and hid it, though he didn’t know why, the statement says.

The other man who was with Hernton allegedly told law enforcement that a white car was traveling past them at a very slow speed, the statement says. That man claimed he is from Chicago and that’s an indicator that a shooting is about to occur, the statement says. He claims once the shooting started, he hid behind the vehicle until it stopped and then ran back to the home, not realizing the victim was shot, the statement says.

Check back for more information.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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