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Investigators: Shooting suspect changes story

RIDGECREST — The story of a startled man accidentally shooting a Ferriday boy to death changed Monday to a tale of horseplay gone wrong.

Henry Plain Jr., 21, 353 Bayou Drive, Ferriday, was booked at the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Saturday on charges of manslaughter after he turned himself in for the fatal Friday shooting of Lakitress Williams, 15.

At the time, Plain and other witnesses told CPSO investigators Plain was sitting in the house at 406 Vidalia Drive with a 9-mm pistol in his lap when Williams entered at 11:30 p.m. and startled him, leading to the shooting.

Williams was pronounced dead on the scene, with the bullet having entered his chest and exited through his lower back.

Monday, however, Plain reportedly changed his story, CPSO Investigator Phillip Webber said.

Investigators interviewed Plain a second time after his testimony and the testimony of witnesses did not match up with the physical evidence, Webber said.

“The victim and (Plain) were kidding around, the boy was sucking his thumb and (Plain) was making fun of that, and he pointed the gun and pulled the trigger to scare him,” Webber said.

Plain was initially sitting during the incident, Webber said, but had stood and walked over to Williams and pointed the gun at the victim from a downward angle.

“He pulled the slide back on the gun so it would make the clicking noise when he pulled the trigger, but he didn’t realize the clip was still in the gun and he chambered the bullet,” Webber said. “The intent to kill was not there, but it is still considered manslaughter.”

The gun used in the killing was Plain’s, Webber said, and the gathering at the house the night of the killing was of family members.

At Plain’s initial court appearance Monday, Judge Leo Boothe set the defendant’s bail at $250,000.

While Plain is charged with manslaughter, a grand jury can upgrade the charge to murder or downgrade it to negligent homicide, Webber said.

The investigator said the matter is still under investigation and further charges are pending.

In Louisiana, a manslaughter conviction carries a penalty of no more than 40 years prison.