SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A woman from Springfield formally admitted on Thursday that she fatally shot a man in east Springfield on Nov. 6, 2012. Marya Von Brandt, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action for shooting Kevin Engh, 41, at an apartment 2009 E. Grand St.
Von Brandt's plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors, who originally charged her with second-degree murder. She received a six-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter and a three-year sentence for armed criminal action. Circuit Judge Tom Mountjoy ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, for a total of nine years. She'll get credit for the four years and seven months that she has been in the Greene County jail and Fulton State Hospital since the shooting.
Von Brandt's mental health issues delayed the case reaching a trial or a plea. Mountjoy ultimately ruled that she was competent to stand trial. Von Brandt was 18 years old at the time of the shooting.
Von Brandt said she was defending herself but told police several stories about the shooting. She said she was on a date and Engh pulled a gun on her before she shot him. Another story involved Von Brandt going to an apartment near Park Central Square to get methamphetamine, where Engh requested oral sex, then hit her with a gun before she fought for it and shot Engh. Police also said Engh had previously paid Von Brandt for sex.
Prosecutors said, whatever version might be true, the shooting was a reckless act. They said Von Brandt used more force than necessary to defend herself when she fatally shot Engh.