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DECATUR — Avante M. Flesch will be sentenced Aug. 14 and faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to accidentally shooting to death a 12-year-old Decatur boy.

Flesch, who had previously denied all charges in the Nov. 12 death of Marqueius N. Gray, appeared in Macon County Circuit Court on Thursday pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

As part of a plea deal negotiated by his defense attorney, Monica Hawkins, Flesch, 20, also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon. A further charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon was dismissed.

Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott refused to comment on the case pending the sentence hearing, but confirmed the plea deal. He also confirmed that a cap of 10 years had been set after consultations with the family of Marqueius.

A sworn Decatur Police affidavit from detectives who investigated the shooting said Gray had been shot in the chest while in the living room of a house in the 1100 block of North Main Street. Detective Jason Kuchelmeister said Flesch had said at the time that he found the .380 caliber handgun lying on a couch.

“Mr. Flesch advised he picked up the handgun and removed its magazine,” said Kuchelmeister in the affidavit. “Mr. Flesch stated he began playing with the handgun and that it accidentally discharged and struck Mr. Gray. Mr. Flesch advised after accidentally shooting Mr. Gray he fled due to being scared.”

Flesch had been found and arrested by 7:30 p.m. the day of the shooting and has been held in the Macon County Jail in lieu of being able to post $100,000 bail.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid