PLEA BARGAINS IN KILLING
The last of three defendants in a murder case pleaded guilty this week in the 2014 killing of Justin Sharp, a 24-year-old purported marijuana dealer who was found shot to death in a yard on the 2700 block of Whittier Avenue. Several months passed before Korodney Jones, Floyd Williams and Demetriana Ross were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and home invasion. The charges, however, didn’t stick, and all three ended up pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Williams, the alleged trigger man, was the first to plead and had charges dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea in September, when he received a 20-year sentence. With time off for good behavior, he could be free in 10 years. Jones had charges dismissed last month in exchange for his plea to second-degree murder. He received a 10-year sentence and could be free in five years. Ross pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Monday and received a five-year sentence, with prosecutors dismissing all other charges. She could be free in less than three years. State’s Attorney John Milhiser said that prosecutors believe the defendants were trying to buy drugs from Sharp at his home when the killing occurred. The defendants planned to argue self defense, Milhiser said, and second-degree murder is the applicable conviction when someone acts unreasonably in the belief they are acting in self defense. Prosecutors concentrated on getting a conviction against Williams, he said, and Ross helped solve the crime by cooperating with police. “She led us to the other individuals, including the shooter in the case,” Milhiser said.