WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A man with a long criminal record was shot and killed by a Warren police officer in 2013, but prosecutors said his girlfriend’s actions played a role in his death.
After seven hours of deliberations on Thursday and Friday, the jury in the Regan Jelks trial found Jelks guilty of two counts of firearms violations. But when it came to the question of whether she contributed to the death of Taemar Walker, they came to a different conclusion.
“For count three involuntary manslaughter loaded firearm, we the jury in this case find the defendant Regan Jelks not guilty of involuntary manslaughter,” Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos read.
Jelks cried tears of joy after Kontos read the jury’s verdict. Jelks’ mother Michelle Hall thanked the jury and God for setting her daughter free.
“That is my baby, yes, and I am so proud of her for standing for her innocence. I am just proud of her,” Hall said.
Jelks and Taemar Walker got into an accident on Risher Road in October 2013. Warren police officer Michael Krafcik was called to the scene, where he shot and killed Walker, who Krafcik said was reaching for a gun.
Prosecutors believe Jelks knew the guns that Walker had were in her car that night of the shooting, but her lawyers argued that she didn’t know. Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said these types of cases are always a tough sell to jurors.
“It is pretty clear Regan Jelks has learned a valuable lesson in life. It has cost her a felony conviction, as well as a misdemeanor conviction. Don’t allow people to drive around in your car and allow them to put guns in your car, loaded or unloaded,” Becker said.
Jelks will be sentenced at a later date. She could still get up to 18 months in prison on the weapons charges.