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An apartment on West Washington Street in Athens.
An apartment on West Washington Street in Athens, where Charles Duncan, Sr., was found shot. Michael Russell was sentenced in connection with the shooting. (WOUB File Photo)

Third Sentenced In Athens Shooting Death

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ATHENS (WOUB) — A third person has been sentenced in connection with the December shooting death of an Athens man.

Michael Russell

Michael Allen Russell, 19, of Glouster, was sentenced in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Aug. 7 of involuntary manslaughter, robbery, receiving stolen property and having weapons while under disability, according to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

Common Pleas Judge Patrick Lang sentenced Russell to 19 years in prison, with three years of the sentence mandatory. After his prison sentence, Russell will serve five years of post-release control, a press release from the prosecutor’s office stated.

Russell was charged along with four other people after Charles Duncan, Sr., 55, was found shot in an apartment on West Washington Street. The men were accused of being part of a drug operation that included trading stolen property for drugs and killing Duncan in an attempt to collect a drug debt.

Bernard C. Mitchell, 23, of Athens, was sentenced to 24 years in prison in connection with the crime. He pleaded guilty in December to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, robbery, breaking and entering, grand theft, burglary, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and having weapons while under disability.

Jonathon Champe McLaughlin, 23, of Glouster, also pleaded guilty in December on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, having weapons while under disability, aggravated trafficking in drugs and burglary. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, and five years of mandatory post-release control, according to previous WOUB reporting.

Connected cases against Troy Allen Vermillion II, 28, of Athens, and Robert Martin, 26, of Glouster, are still pending in Athens County Common Pleas Court.

“All individuals involved are drug dependent and/or in danger of being drug dependent and regularly possess, steal, transfer, or have control over firearms,” Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in a statement.