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Rollins pleads to manslaughter


An Atmore man, originally charged with murder in the April 2016 shooting death of a Flomaton man, accepted a blind plea to a lesser charge.

Devonta DeShawn Rollins, now 22, entered a guilty plea to one count of manslaughter and will likely serve a sentence that falls within the range of 2-20 years, Escambia County District Attorney Steve Billy announced after the plea deal was finalized.

According to court documents, Rollins almost immediately became the major suspect in the shooting, which took place on April 19, 2016. The body of Kenneth Harris Jr., 18, was found inside a Lender Street residence. He had been shot once in the back of the head.

Two days later, Flomaton police — along with agents of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation — executed a search warrant on the vehicle Rollins had been driving on the day Harris was killed. Later, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and U.S. Marshals joined in as a search warrant was executed at the Lender Street residence, which straddles the Alabama and Florida state lines and is listed on Century, Fla. maps.

A .38-caliber revolver, later determined to be the murder weapon, was recovered during the latter search.

Court documents, including Flomaton PD reports, indicate that Rollins, who was reportedly the boyfriend of Harris’ sister, and Harris had a “history of altercations,” including one that occurred two weeks prior to the slaying.

Circuit Judge Bert Rice will decide the appropriate degree of punishment for Rollins and will formally sentence him on May 23. Under a blind plea, the defendant enters a plea of guilty, and the DA’s office makes no sentencing recommendation.