Feb. 29 (UPI) — A former Missouri police officer has pleaded guilty to killing a fellow officer last year in a Russian roulette-style shooting.
Nathaniel Hendren, 30, a former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer withdrew his previous not guilty plea during a Friday morning court appearance. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the shooting death of off duty-officer Katlyn Alix, 24, in January 2019.
Prosecutors said Alix was killed while the two were playing Russian roulette.
Judge Thom C. Clark accepted Hendren’s plea agreement to serve seven years for first-degree involuntary manslaughter and a concurrent three-year term for armed criminal action.
“The reckless behavior that took place that early morning has left an unfillable void for her grieving husband, her parents, and a host of loving family and friends,” Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement that she posted to Twitter.
“Mr. Hendren’s plea admits that his actions were the cause of officer Alix’s death. Although there is nothing that law can do to restore the life of Officer Alix, it can make sure that the person responsible for her senseless death is held accountable for his careless behavior.”
A lawsuit Alix’s family filed claimed that Hendren also forced other girlfriends to play Russian roulette.
Hendren left the police department after Alix’s death. His state peace officer license has been suspended, so he can’t work as a police officer.
Alix posthumously received the North Patrol’s Officer the the Year award for deeds such as running into a burning building to save lives, chasing down and arresting armed criminals and strengthening rapport with youth in the city’s most violent police district, months after she was killed by Hendren.