Ozark man sen­tenced in gun-toss shoot­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - DAVE HUGHES

A 30-year-old Ozark man was sen­tenced Fri­day to 36 years in prison af­ter plead­ing guilty in the death of a man who was shot while play­ing catch with a loaded gun, ac­cord­ing to Franklin County Cir­cuit Court records.

Cody Whit­ten was charged with first-de­gree mur­der in the Au­gust 2016 death of Cody Ray Dun­can. Pros­e­cut­ing At­tor­ney David Gib­bons said Whit­ten pleaded guilty Fri­day to a re­duced charge of man­slaugh­ter and was sen­tenced to 30 years in prison.

He also was sen­tenced to an ad­di­tional five years

in prison for a firearms en­hance­ment and a year on a sep­a­rate de­liv­ery of metham­phetamine charge, all to run con­sec­u­tively, Gib­bons said.

The mur­der trial for Whit­ten was set to start Aug. 17, ac­cord­ing to court records.

A prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit by Ozark po­lice said Whit­ten ad­mit­ted be­ing re­spon­si­ble for shoot­ing Dun­can. He said he and Dun­can were in Whit­ten’s girl­friend’s apart­ment with a re­volver. He said Dun­can picked up the gun and they started toss­ing it back and forth, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. The gun went off when Whit­ten had the gun in his hand and the bul­let struck Dun­can in the head.

Whit­ten told po­lice that Dun­can had taken all but one round out of the gun to play Rus­sian roulette. But when the gun was lo­cated, of­fi­cers found it fully loaded with one ex­pended round.

Dun­can died from the head wound Aug. 17 in a hos­pi­tal in Wash­ing­ton County.

Po­lice in­ter­viewed Whit­ten’s girl­friend, Stephanie Stacy, 20, who said she was in the bed­room with Whit­ten and Dun­can while they played catch with the gun, ac­cord­ing to a prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit. She said when Whit­ten caught the gun, it went off, wound­ing Dun­can in the head.

Stacy said Whit­ten grabbed the gun and ran from the room. Po­lice later found Whit­ten in bed with Stacy at her mother’s home.

Stacy was sen­tenced to six years’ pro­ba­tion and was or­dered too pay $1,820 in fines, costs and fees in June af­ter plead­ing guilty to a charge of hin­der­ing ap­pre­hen­sion or prose­cu­tion for ini­tially ly­ing to po­lice about the shoot­ing.

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