Keegan W. Mummey, 18, is accused of murdering a 12-year-old girl by shooting her in the head as she sat on her grandmother’s front porch in Newark, Ohio. The child, identified as Isabella Barnes, was pronounced dead at Licking Memorial Hospital.
The shooting happened on Friday, June 21. Police are still searching the neighborhood for the murder weapon.
Mummey is being held on $1 million bond at the Licking County Jail on an aggravated murder charge, according to inmate records. Additional charges may be filed because prosecutors said Mummey and Barnes may have dated at some point.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Prosecutor: Witnesses Reported Seeing Keegan Mummey Approach Isabella Barnes on the Front Porch & Shooting Her in the Head
Keegan Mummey is accused of purposefully shooting and killing Isabella Barnes on June 21, 2019.
Assistant Licking County Prosecutor Paula Sawyers told the Columbus Dispatch that witnesses told investigators that Barnes had been sitting on the front porch of her grandmother’s home on Ridgelawn Avenue that evening. The home is located a few blocks away from Newark Catholic High School and neighbors said it’s a popular area for children to spend time together.
Mummey is accused of walking up to Barnes and shooting her in the head. Barnes’ brother called 911, according to the Dispatch. She was rushed to Licking Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
2. Keegan Mummey Was Arrested Shortly After the Shooting & Police Are Still Searching for the Murder Weapon
Police said Keegan Mummey left the home on a bicycle, according to ABC affiliate WSYX-TV. He was apprehended a short time later, before midnight, on Route 79 by Hebron police. He was booked into the Licking County Jail the next day.
Investigators have not yet found the gun that was used to kill Isabella Barnes. Police say they believe Mummey tossed the weapon as he ran away.
WSYX reporter Geoff Redick shared video of Newark Police and Licking County deputies searching a Newark neighborhood for the gun. Residents are asked to call the police if they see a weapon. Anyone who finds the weapon is asked not to touch it.
3. Keegan Mummey Is Charged With Aggravated Murder
Keegan Mummey appeared before a Licking County Court judge via video feed on Monday, June 24. He told the judge that he does not remember what happened because he sometimes experiences blackouts, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Mummey was formally charged with aggravated murder, according to public records available on the Licking County Common Pleas website. Bond was set at $1 million. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 3. The online court record does not list an attorney for Mummey.
A search of online records does not bring up an adult criminal history for Mummey, but there is not much history to look through. He turned 18 in December of 2018. CBS affiliate WBNS-TV reported that Mummey was convicted of aggravated menacing in juvenile court in 2017, for which he received probation. The station reported that in that case, Mummey had chased a small child with a knife.
4. Prosecutor: Keegan Mummey Could Face Additional Charges Based On His Personal History With the Victim
Keegan Mummey could potentially face additional charges depending on what investigators discover about his past relationship with Isabella Barnes. Assistant Prosecutor Paula Sawyers for Licking County told the Columbus Dispatch that her office had information that Mummey had dated Barnes at some point. Sawyers told the judge during the bond hearing, “If there was a relationship and it was sexual in nature, there could be a rape charge coming.”
The age of consent in Ohio is 16. There is an exemption that permits consensual relationships between teenagers that are close in age, but the teen has to be at least 13. Barnes was only 12.
5. Isabella Barnes Is Survived By Five Siblings & is Remembered For Her ‘Cheerful Demeanor’
The family of Isabella Barnes planned a public memorial for her at the Ridgelawn Avenue home on June 24. Her grandmother, Robbin Chavis, has shared multiple pictures of Isabella on her Facebook page. She wrote the morning after Isabella died: “Rest in heaven baby girl, ? grandma loves you, ? your life was taken way to early ?”
Isabella went by the nickname “Bella.” The obituary states that she was “known for her cheerful demeanor and bubbly personality. She enjoyed crafts, swimming, Monster High, and movies. Bella also loved spending time with her friends, animals, and listening to music.”
She is survived by a large family that includes five siblings. Bella would have turned 13 on July 27, 2019.