'Russian Roulette' plea deal reached

Cannon killed Kingman teen at Feb. 14 party

William Cannon

William Cannon

KINGMAN - A 20-year-old Kingman man who told police his friend died playing "Russian Roulette" has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

William Cannon was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of Duran Serna, 16. Serna was shot in the head shortly after 1 a.m. while attending a party Feb. 14 at Cannon's home in the 1600 block of Arlington Street. Cannon admitted to police that he pointed the gun at Serna and pulled the trigger but said that he didn't know the gun was loaded.

Partygoers first told police Serna died playing "Russian Roulette." Discrepancies in their accounts led police to question Cannon.

County Attorney Jace Zack said the plea deal was offered because the state could prove that Cannon's behavior was reckless but not intentional.

The plea agreement contains two aggravating factors that Judge Rick Williams can take into consideration during sentencing: That Cannon lied to police and Serna's parents about what happened, and that Cannon asked witnesses at the party to lie for him.

Cannon's attorney, Billy Sipe, said the defense acknowledges the aggravating factors as part of the agreement but is not agreeing that the factors exist.

Cannon faces a possible sentence of up to 12-1/2 years in prison. He will be sentenced Oct. 29, at which time those at the Feb. 14 party, as well as family members, will be able to make statements to the court on both the aggravated and mitigating factors in the case.

Members of both the Serna and Cannon families were present at Tuesday's hearing.

The manslaughter charge is classified as a non-dangerous class 2 felony.