Three former Sharon Hill police officers have pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting death of 8-year-old Fanta Bility.
Brian Devaney, Sean Dolan, and Devon Smith, who used to be police officers, were all charged with manslaughter and endangering the lives of others 12 times.
The Manslaughter Charges Dismissed
The agreement was well received by Fanta’s loved ones, who saw it as the ex-officers’ way of accepting responsibility and acknowledging culpability.
On the other hand, the family did not want to go through the emotional ordeal of a trial before a judge and jury on the more severe allegations.
The police face up to 20 years in jail if they are found guilty on all 10 counts of reckless endangerment, each of which carries a maximum term of two years. On January 12, sentencing will take place.
Fanta’s cousin Siddiq Kamara stated, “We also want to make sure that Sharon Hill Borough is held responsible.”
The Plea Bargain Seen as Success and Relief by Fanta’s Loved Ones
With this, “we can now get some closure and begin the healing process,” as Bility put it, for both the family and the community.
An attorney for the three former Sharon Hill police officers charged with manslaughter in Fanta Bility’s shooting murder has requested the charges be reduced.
On the evening of August 20, 2021, Bility was shot while walking home from an Academy Park High School football game with her mother.
After hearing gunshots that had nothing to do with the football game, all three police officers opened fire as the game ended.
They were sure the bullets were coming from a black Chevrolet Impala, so they fired 25 rounds in its direction.
Billy was Among the People Being Passed By in Car
Angelo “AJ” Ford and Hasein Strand were the first people suspected of killing Bility. They were charged with first-degree murder, but when they pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, the charge was dropped.
After the three ex-officers have been sentenced, the family’s lawyer will file a civil complaint.
Attorney Bruce Castor said, “I want justice to run its course here in Delaware County and then will proceed with the civil lawsuit.”
Further, the family is demanding that Sharon Hill Borough provide its police force with greater training and clarify its policies.
“It’s still hard to believe that our beloved Fanta is gone for good,” Bility said.