Man sentenced to prison in I-76 road rage shooting

AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — The man convicted in a deadly road rage shooting on a local interstate last year was sentenced to up to 17 1/2 years in prison on Friday.

Dacarrei Kinard, 31, of Columbus, was indicted on murder charges, but jurors last month convicted him on lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault.

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Kinard shot and killed 40-year-old George “Geo” Jensen II of Akron on May 17, 2023, while the man was driving home from work on Interstate 76 in Norton, in what authorities said was an apparent road rage shooting.

U.S. Marshals and Columbus police arrested Kinard in Columbus later that month, after a search for the black Camaro believed to have been driven by Kinard, which was seen on surveillance cameras on the highway alongside Jensen’s car.

“My heart goes out to the family of George Jensen,” county Prosecutor Elliot Kolkovich is quoted in a Friday news release. “We are pleased Dacarrei Kinard will spend a significant amount of time in prison. Thank you to the hard-working assistant prosecutors who fought for justice for the Jensen family.”

Nancy Keenan, a close friend of Jensen’s, on Friday said the tragedy could have been prevented “with a little bit of patience, a little bit of kindness and a little self control.”

One by one, Jensen’s loved ones took the stand on Friday to give impact statements, illustrating a man beloved and revered for his compassion and intelligence, while pleading for the strongest possible punishment for his killer.

Allison Kee-Jensen, the man’s wife of 13 years — now widow — said her husband was a lover of music, art and bad movies. He could often be found tinkering with something, whether it be a cooking recipe, a car or a computer — “his rational, mathematic mind complementing my free spirit.”

“Both of you acted impulsively — both of you too proud to stand down,” she said to Kinard. “Once day, you will go home to your family. You will walk through your door again — hopefully after a long time.

“I do not want you to rot in prison. I want you to grow. Meanwhile, I will spend the rest of my life waiting for Geo to not walk through the door.”

Jensen’s younger brother Anthony, a former active duty combat medic, said in a written statement that his brother’s slaying triggered symptoms of recurring post-traumatic stress disorder — night terrors involving his past patients, mass casualty events and the sounds of gunshots that wake him up at night.

Anthony remembered his brother as a “politically conscious person who despised violence” and never carried weapons.

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Kinard delivered a brief apology to the court.

“I’m very sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen,” he said. “I wish I could go back in time and take back my actions.”

Several of Kinard’s family members also addressed the court, begging for leniency, with his father Toby Rushing asking Jensen’s family to “please forgive our son.”

Kinard’s mother Tamara Kinard also apologized to Jensen’s family, saying the shooting was out-of-character for “kind-hearted” and “reserved” son.

“I really don’t even know what to say. It’s just hard to be here in this situation,” Tamara said. “I just want to put some clarity on my son’s character. He is not who people see on the TV because of this case.”

While the anguish of Jensen’s family members was on display, so was their anger.

“I hate you, Dacarrei Kinard. From the bottom of my soul, I hate you,” said Jensen’s longtime friend Scott Keenan. “Jesus may forgive you. I will never.

“That’s the last time I’m going to use your name. You get a number now. Someone will tell you when and what you can eat, when you can pee, when you can sleep. You will be in a cage like the animal you are.”

After the hearing concluded and Kinard was led away by sheriff’s deputies, members of the two families exchanged bitter words. The confrontation was quickly quelled by deputies and the judge.

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Prosecutors asked for a total of 20 to 25 years in prison.

Common Pleas Court Judge Kathryn Michael on Friday handed down a sentence of five to seven-and-a-half years in prison on his charges of voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault, which merged at sentencing. The five-year firearm specifications attached to those charges must also be served consecutively, for a total sentence of 15 to 17 1/2 years.

He’ll also be subject to parole for another two to five years upon release.

“I don’t know what led up to [the shooting],” said Judge Michael. “All the people in this courtroom are affected by what happened that day.

“Your actions that day took you away from your family, it took Mr. Jensen away from his — and none of it makes any sense, because it didn’t have to happen,” the judge said.

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