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Trial Underway in Teen Murder Case

KSAL Staff - April 12, 2016 4:46 pm

Stephen Gentry

A trial for the first of five men accused in a case involving the shooting death of a Salina teen last spring is underway in Saline County District Court. 19-year-old Stephen Gentry is the first person to face trial on murder charges in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Allie Saum.

Gentry is facing charges that include:

  • 1st degree murder
  • attempted 1st degree murder
  • shooting at an occupied vehicle
  • conspiracy to commit aggravated battery

Jurors were selected Monday, and the opening statements and testimony began on Tuesday.

Gentry is not accused of firing the fatal shots, but rather of gathering a group of people to seek retaliation for a previous incident in which he was punched. He is also accused of instructing the accused shooter, Macio Palico Jr., to fire the fatal shots.

In her opening statement, Saline County Attorney Ellen Mitchell indicated that one of the defendants,  Daniel Sims, will testify against Gentry in exchange for a reduction of the charges against him.

Mitchell said that the defendants were out to seek revenge for the previous altercation. Saum, and her boyfriend Vince Johnson drove by and were mistakenly identified.

Defense Attorney Julie Effenbach said that Gentry’s intent was only to have a fist fight, and that he did not instruct Palacio to fire the shots.

Allie Saum was shot and killed on May 6th, 2015. Shots were fired at a truck as it drove eastbound in the 500 block of Russell. Saum was a passenger in the truck, and was hit in the head.

The other defendants in the case include:

  • 22-year-old Macio Palacio
  • 19-year-old Jerome Forbes
  • 20-year-old Daniel Sims
  • 18-year-old Andrew Woodring

Each trial will be held separately.

The trial is expected to last at least all of this week.

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