Shuffitt enters plea bargain agreement in two cases

COLUMBUS, Ind. — A local man admitted he committed an armed robbery and caused a fatal crash when he accepted a plea bargain in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Monday.

Kevin W. Shuffitt, 21, plead guilty to two Level 5 felonies that originate from separate cases during a change of plea hearing.

The charge of criminal recklessness stems from a Nov. 8, 2021 incident at the intersection of Seventh Street and Central Avenue. The defendant’s truck pulled out into the intersection and struck a vehicle, court documents state. A passenger in the second vehicle, Jeremy O. Stillabower, 44, of Columbus, suffered multiple injuries and later died in an Indianapolis hospital.

Investigators say the defendant’s truck struck another vehicle twice on Seventh Street near Cottage Avenue moments before it crashed into the Stillabower vehicle.

In the second case, Shuffitt was one of three people arrested in connection with an armed robbery that occurred on July 12, 2021. The victim was held at gunpoint in the 1000 block of California St. and struck in the face several times with a pellet gun before the perpetrators stole his bicycle.

Originally facing one count of robbery resulting in bodily injury as a Level 3 felony, Shuffitt was allowed to plead guilty Monday to the lesser charge of armed robbery as a Level 5 felony.

The agreement read in court did not mention a maximum sentence that Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge James Worton could impose on Shuffitt. That means Shuffitt could receive between two to 12 years in prison, as well as $20,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. July 12.

For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Republic.