In 2008, three men were shot and killed over the course of three months. An Ohio man was arrested and charged with their deaths. Recently, he pleaded guilty to three felony charges of manslaughter. It is presumed that when he is sentenced on June 24, he will receive a prison term of 14 years for all three counts.
At the end of Aug. 2008, a 39-year-old man was shot outside a bar. At the end of Sept. 2008, a second man, age 20, was shot. He was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was found shot in the head and stomach. The third man was found at the beginning of Oct. 2008 leaning over the steering wheel of a car after being shot.
One of the witnesses to the first shooting in August was also charged in connection with the man’s death. Prosecutors originally listed several other people as witnesses to the shootings. According to reports, the police allegedly gained the cooperation of these so-called witnesses when the Ohio man was charged with all three deaths in 2011. However, since that time, the witnesses either have taken back their statements or become unwilling to identify the accused man as the killer.
Prosecutors originally charged the man with murder, but without the people police claimed were witnesses, their case began to fall apart. After this man and his criminal defense team reviewed the remaining evidence regarding the felony charges the individual was facing, they determined it was in his best interest to plead guilty to a lesser crime instead of going to trial. Sometimes, even without witness testimony, enough evidence exists that going to trial could still be a risk to the accused individual. In that case, other alternatives such as pleading to a lesser crime may provide the accused person with the best possible outcome.
Source: cincinnati.com, ““Witness issues” allow killer lesser sentence“, Kimball Perry, April 24, 2014