Ohio judge set to announce sentence in barbershop slayings

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2016 3:11 PM
Ohio judge set to announce sentence in barbershop slayings

CLEVELAND (AP) — A judge in Cleveland on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old man to life in prison without parole for fatally shooting three people in a suburban barbershop and conspiring to killing an eyewitness to the slayings.

A jury last month convicted Douglas Shine Jr. of multiple counts of aggravated murder and dozens of other charges and recommended Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Joan Synenberg sentence him to death.

During a murder trial that spanned more than two months, prosecutors and witnesses recounted for jurors a story of revenge and cold-blooded violence wrought by Shine and others.

Prosecutors said Shine walked into the Warrensville Heights barber shop in February 2015 with guns in both hands and opened fire, killing 23-year-old Walter Lee Barfield, a rival gang member who worked at the shop, 32-year-old shop owner William Gonzalez and 31-year-old customer Brandon White. Two men and a woman also were shot during the attack but survived.

Shine's mission to kill Barfield was rooted in a feud between the Heartless Felons, Shine's gang, and a rival gang called Loyal Always, prosecutors said. Shine tried to kill Barfield weeks before the barbershop slayings after Barfield stole a gun from another Heartless Felon, prosecutors said.

The jury also convicted Shine of aggravated murder for conspiring from jail to have his brother kill Aaron Ladson, the brother of Brandon White, who prosecutors said identified Shine as the barbershop killer. Shine's brother, Kevin McKinney, is awaiting trial on aggravated murder charges in the April 2015 slaying of Ladson.

A psychologist who examined Shine and reviewed hundreds of pages of school, jail, prison and social services records testified during the death penalty phase of the trial that Shine had no clear role model growing up.

Shine's mother spent four months in jail when he was 6 months old and frequently abused him, psychologist Robert Kaplan told the jury as it deliberated whether to recommend Shine be sentenced to death. Shine first went to juvenile detention center when he was 10 on a burglary charge and was pressured to join a street gang when he was 14 and transferred to a youth prison, Kaplan said.