Last of 3 teens charged in fatal Middletown shooting sentenced to prison

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Nearly a year after a robbery attempt in Middletown that turned deadly, the last of three teens convicted has been sent to prison.

Eliot Shepherd II, 17 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty in May to involuntary manslaughter in Butler County Common Pleas Court, but sentencing was not scheduled until after the co-defendants’ cases were completed.

On Tuesday, Judge Dan Haughey sentenced Shepherd to a maximum of seven years in prison.

Timathy Rhodus, 17 at the time of the Jan. 31 incident, pleaded guilty to murder with a one-year gun specification for the attempted robbery where gunfire killed a woman visiting the Wilbraham Road residence.

Rhodus was sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole after 16 years. Prosecutors say Rhodus was handling the gun and shot the woman.

Co-defendant Karlos Philpot, 18, pleaded guilty to murder in Judge Greg Stephens’ courtroom three hours before his trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 18. The plea carried a mandatory sentence and Stephens then imposed that sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole in 15 years.

Angela Combs, 41, was shot about 9 p.m. in an apartment in the 3100 block of Wilbraham Road by armed suspects who came to the door apparently looking for payment of a debt, according to court documents. Combs was taken to Atrium Medical Center, where she died.

According to court documents, Rhodus said he went to the residence armed with the two others to “get $60 that was owed to him for marijuana.”

The person who opened the door attempted to shut it and caught the arm of one of the 17-year-olds in the door, it said.

After the door hit the teen’s arm, Rhodus stated he started pulling the trigger because it upset him, according to Middletown detectives.

Combs was struck by gunfire as she walked down the steps and there were children in the house, according to prosecutors.

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