Teen admits guilt for role in fatal Fairfield hotel shooting

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A West Chester Twp. teen has admitted guilt to her role in a deadly October 2022 shooting at a Fairfield hotel.

The 16-year-old girl was charged with murder, robbery and burglary for conspiring with an accomplice, who was killed in the incident, to steal a firearm from occupants of a room at the Holiday Inn Express.

In the course of the robbery, 18-year-old Kaaree Wade Hipsher-Burton of Cincinnati was shot and found dead during the early morning hours of Oct. 2 in a second-floor hotel hallway, according to police.

On Tuesday, the girl entered a plea of true in Butler County Juvenile Court to the amended charge of involuntary manslaughter. A true plea is the equivalent to a guilty plea in adult court.

The robbery and burglary charges were withdrawn by the prosecution. Judge Eric Niehaus set sentencing for March 9.

The girl could sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until her 21st birthday or sentenced to ODYS for a period of one to three years. She remains housed in the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center until sentencing.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the person who fired the shot that killed Hipsher-Burton was acting in self-defense.

“It was self-defense by the guy trying to protect his property and family with a gun pointed at him,” Gmoser said. “She (the teen girl) let the wolf in the door and she is chargeable for being complicit in a crime that got her conspirator killed.”

Gmoser said the prosecutor’s office did not request the case be sent to adult court due to the teen’s age, lack of criminal history and minimal involvement.

“There is no question that she participated in what happened to this fellow in getting killed by her conduct, but the net result is her actual involvement was considerably less in the planning and execution of the whole thing,” Gmoser said.

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