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Trevor Fridenmaker

A Frankfort man was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison after a gun he was handling in May discharged and killed a man in another apartment.

He could, however, receive shock probation if he is forthcoming on how he obtained the weapon.

Trevor Fridenmaker, 20, was charged April 19 after a bullet from his gun went through the wall of his apartment and into another, where it struck and killed 20-year-old Samuel Keaton Sexton. 

During his sentencing hearing Friday morning in Franklin Circuit Court, Judge Phillip Shepherd imposed the agreed sentences of five years each for reckless homicide, tampering with physical evidence, enhanced possession of marijuana and enhanced possession of drug paraphernalia. He also ordered the sentences run consecutively for a total of 20 years.

Shepherd said he expects Fridenmaker’s attorney to file a motion for shock probation within the next four months, but said whether it was granted depended on Fridenmaker’s actions in the meantime.

Shock probation can be granted where people serve a portion of their sentence with the rest probated, with the idea that spending a little time in jail or prison will be enough of a shock to prevent further offenses.

“Obviously there are a lot of things that trouble me about this case,” Shepherd said. “I understand this is a terrible, tragic accident. In many ways, the most troubling thing is you had an AK-47 pistol that you apparently had just acquired.”

Given “conflicting statements” about how Fridenmaker obtained the weapon, Shepherd wanted to determine how the gun was obtained and wanted Fridenmaker to cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors and make a “full, complete and truthful disclosure.”

Fridenmaker was originally indicted for second-degree manslaughter, a Class C felony. The charge was amended to reckless homicide, a Class D felony, as part of the plea agreement. The remaining charges were all Class D felonies.

Frankfort Police were called to the apartment building at 401 Murray St. at 2:55 p.m. April 19. Police said Fridenmaker and Sexton were in separate apartments, and officers found bullet holes indicating the shot came from another apartment.

Police believed that the two men were acquainted but that there was no ill intent.

Sexton was pronounced dead at the scene from a single gunshot wound.

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