Man who fired deadly shot in Hamilton bar violence pleads guilty

The last of four men accused in a deadly Hamilton bar shooting last summer has admitted guilt.

Cornell McKennelly II pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification and having weapons under disability in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

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McKennelly, 38, of Franklin Street in Hamilton, was originally charged with murder and having weapons under disability, for shooting and killing Kalif Goens on July 24 at Doubles Bar in Hamilton’s west side. His trial was scheduled to begin at the end of this month.

Sentencing for McKennelly is scheduled for Feb. 27. He faces a maximum of 17 years in prison.

McKennelly had been charged with murder. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the plea deal was permitted because the facts show there was no purposeful intent to kill Kalif Goens by McKennelly.

“This was gun play among a bunch of stupid people like at the OK Corral and a young man got in the way of a bullet,” Gmoser said, noting all four men involved will go to prison and the bar has since been razed.

RELATED: Site of fatal shooting razed

“Absolutely he (McKennelly) acted recklessly firing into a crowd of people, but he did not purposefully kill that young man when he fired into the crowd,” Gmoser said. “They were acting like it was some type of cartoon, until someone dies.”

Three others involved in the gun violence that also injured seven others have already entered guilty pleas.

Cory Cook II, 23, of 9th Street in Hamilton, pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault. He faces up to four years in prison and is also scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Rodrick Curtis Jr., 20, of North 7th Street, accepted a plea deal to aggravated assault that has a mandatory three-year jail term for the firearms specification associated with it.

Mondale Goens, 21, of Maple Ave., pleaded guilty to aggravated assault that has a mandatory three-year jail term for the firearms specification associated with it.

Both men face up to 4½ years in prison and are scheduled to be sentenced on Monday by Judge Greg Stephens.

Days after the shooting at Doubles Bar, two men were killed in a drive-by shooting along Central Avenue, which was a murder for hire, according to court records.

MORE: Documents outline family feud in 2 Hamilton shootings

Four people are facing the death penalty in the Central Avenue shooting and are scheduled for trial later this year They are:

  • Zachary Harris, 24, of Columbus, charged with two counts of aggravated murder
  • Tony Patete, 23, of Newark, two counts of aggravated murder
  • Melinda Gibby, 35, of Lancaster, two counts of aggravated murder
  • Michael Grevious II, 23, of Maple Ave., Hamilton, one count of aggravated murder

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