How long will it take to learn lessons from the continual frenzy of mass shootings that have plagued this country? Certainly not before Kevin Mediola, Jr. was killed and multiple others injured in a Thanksgiving Day shooting rampage throughout Southern Nevada and Arizona perpetrated by Christopher and Shawn McDonnell and Kayleigh Lewis.
The trio from Tyler, Texas, was indicted by a grand jury on March 17th on charges of murder, terrorism, and conspiracy, with prosecutors suggesting they will seek the death penalty.
With the recent shootings that have come to media attention in the past few weeks, it is all too clear that these incidents may now be what Time magazine has called the American “normal” in their recent article “Mass Shootings: ‘This is What Normal Has Come to Be Like in America’.”
The article offered that, despite COVID lockdowns that kept many of us at home, 2020 saw record gun sales and proved to be one of the most violent in decades. Police and other gun violence experts are concerned that with the current opening up of COVID restrictions and warmer weather, we will see a higher frequency of mass gun violence.
With each mass shooting incident, we wonder if we have learned any lessons. Still, we continue to go forward without taking the appropriate steps needed to ensure that these incidents don’t continue. What are the appropriate steps? That’s up for debate, so nothing is done.
While a nation has pulled together to fight a deadly pandemic, we can’t seem to manage to do that for matters of gun violence in the country. This rampage that took place far too close to home for us here in Las Vegas last Thanksgiving happens far too often, too “close to home” for neighborhoods across the entire country.
According to the Time magazine article, Colleen Lindsay, a volunteer with Everytown for Gun Safety offered a sentiment. “It’s nice that the White House is lowering its flags to half-mast and all, but let’s get real. That flag may as well live at half-mast.”
In the meantime, our too-close-to-home incident plays out. Brothers Christopher and Shawn McDonnell, along with Shawn’s recent bride Kayleigh Lewis now face 53 counts, ranging from murder and terrorism to gun charges. Shawn McDonnell and Kayleigh Lewis have pleaded not guilty to those charges.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson has vowed that prosecutors will present the case to the death penalty review committee, stating that the nature of the crimes threatened the community and has left both physical and emotional scars. “The best way we can honor them is by seeking justice on their behalf,” he said.
While the trio has rights to a legal defense under the law, the defense has their work cut out for them given the preponderance of evidence against them. Christopher McDonnell was on probation for assault and other gun charges at the time, and the rampage had been planned while the trio was on a weeklong road trip together. According to the trio, their rampage was “God’s will.”
Despite what happens to these three, however, the question still begs, “Have we learned any lessons?” Given the history of these things and our strange ability to normalize them, probably not.
When you have been charged with a crime in Nevada, you have the right to a legal defense. Contact our skilled team of Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at LV Criminal Defence at (702) 623-6362 to discuss your charges.