Jame Phillip Lillie and Kimberly Ann Roberts were arrested on May 16, 2020. Lillie and Roberts were both charged with felony murder and second-degree murder. Both were also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Tuesday afternoon, Lillie pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children, involuntary manslaughter, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He received a 30-year sentence, ten to serve in custody and the remainder on probation. He must pay restitution in the amount of $1,274, funeral expenses for young Ashley Reagan Roberts. The shooting occurred while the family was camping. The child’s mother and father along with her grandmother, Kimberly Roberts, and her boyfriend were on the trip. The two couples slept in separate tents. At one point in the evening five-year-old, Ashley asked to sleep in her grandmother’s tent. She entered the tent alone. At 8:30 p.m., the group-heard gunshots and found Ashley injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The child found the loaded gun owned by Lillie in the tent.
Fifty-one year old, Lillie told responding officers that the gun belonged to him and he was a convicted felon. He later said he had 8 beers the day before the camping trip. He left the campsite to get more beer and food. While out, he also retrieved his gun and took it to the campsite. He drank 12 beers on the day of the shooting.
Following sentencing, Judge Suzanne Smith told Lillie that she was aware he did not pull the trigger but it was the responsibility of adults to supervise children, that was his duty.
Co-defendant, 49-year-old Kimberly Ann Roberts entered a guilty plea earlier this month. She pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children, involuntary manslaughter, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. She also received a 30-year sentence, ten years to serve incarcerated, and the remainder on probation.