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.
Charges dismissed in the agreement include two counts of criminal recklessness as a Level 6 felony, as well as two charges from an Oct. 3, 2020 arrest: unlawful possession of a syringe as a Level 6 felony and a misdemeanor charge of possession of paraphernalia.
Two cases against Shuffitt from 2019 may or may not be an aggravating factor in Worton’s sentence. They include two counts for possession of paraphernalia and two counts of unlawfully possession of a syringe. His probation was revoked last November while he was also found guilty with breaking a regulation for Bartholomew County jail inmates.
Court and arrest records show that Shuffitt has given at least three different home addresses to law enforcement that include one home on Eighth Street and another on Cleveland Street. The address listed on his most recent arrest is located on Short Wilson St.