Second Suspect Sentenced In Fatal Athens Shooting

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ATHENS, Ohio – A suspect involved in a fatal shooting last month on the west side of Athens will spend more than two decades in prison after pleading guilty to various charges Tuesday.

Bernard Mitchell

Bernard C. Mitchell, 23, of Athens, entered guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, robbery, breaking and entering, grand theft, burglary, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and having weapons while under disability. All the charges are felonies.

Judge Patrick J. Lang sentenced Mitchell to a total prison term of 24 years. Mitchell will also be subject to five years mandatory post-release control.

He is just one of the men accused of leading a drug operation that included trading stolen property for drugs and killing Charles Duncan, Sr., 55, of Logan, during an attempt to collect a drug debt on Nov. 25.

Jonathon Champe McLaughlin, 23, of Glouster, entered guilty pleas to a bill of information on Dec. 4 that charged him with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, having weapons while under disability, aggravated trafficking in drugs and burglary.

McLaughlin was sentenced to 18 years in prison and five years of mandatory post-release control.

Robert Andrew Martin, 26 of Glouster; Troy Allen Vermillion II, 28, of Athens; and Michael Allen Russell, 20, of Athens, have also been arrested on charges related to Duncan’s death. They are currently being held at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail and are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning.

“This is a story of a continued cycle of addiction in which an individual failed to take advantage of treatment resulting in a lengthy prison term,” Prosecutor Keller Blackburn wrote in a statement.

These cases were investigated by the Athens Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Major Crimes Unit, Glouster Police Department and the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.