Teen charged with manslaughter in Ensley shooting death

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A month after an Ensley teen was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head, another teenager is now behind bars charged with aggravated manslaughter.

18-year-old Kristian Nealy Ard was booked into the Escambia County Jail Wednesday morning.

The case involves the shooting of 16-year-old Dakota Kersey on Grace Drive on December 18, 2019. Kersey was declared brain dead at Sacred Heart Hospital on December 26. Two days later, he was removed from his ventilator.

According to the arrest report, Ard called 911 but did not tell dispatchers about the nature of Kersey’s wound, or that a gun was involved.

Over the next few weeks that followed, investigators interviewed Ard on three separate occasions and found inconsistencies in her story.

The report says she made a false statement when she said she was not in possession of the gun that was used in Kersey’s death. A search of Ard’s phone uncovered pictures of her with several guns, including the Draco 7.62 mm pistol used in the shooting, according to the report.

The report goes on to say Ard tampered with the gun as well as the spent shell casing.

A search of the property where the shooting took place led to the discovery of several bloody Clorox wipes in a trash can, which the report says were used to clean up the crime scene.

The report says a search of Ard’s car led to the seizure of another gun which was stolen, ammunition, drugs, among other items.

In addition to aggravated manslaughter, Ard is facing other charges that include contributing to the delinquency of a minor, grand theft of a firearm, giving false information to law enforcement, destroying evidence, and several drug offenses.

The total bond for all charges is $680,000.

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