ELYRIA — A Lorain man pleaded guilty to an amended indictment Friday in connection to the 2016 homicide of Kenneth Shinafelt.
Darius Ramey, 18, will serve 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, improper discharging of a firearm into a habitation, tampering with evidence and felonious assault, all of which had firearm specifications. He initially was charged with murder and felonious assault, each with a firearm specification.
“I will never get to see my brother again, talk to my brother again and my daughters will never get to truly know their uncle,” Shinafelt’s sister, Emily Taylor, said in her victim impact statement to Ramey. “I look at my mom and my heart breaks. She lost her only son because of one decision. This has affected me in ways I didn’t know was possible, and I will pray the lord guides you to a good path and that one day you show remorse for our family.”
Ramey was 16 at the time of Shinafelt’s death but later was charged as an adult.
Shinafelt, who was 31 at the time of his death, was found shot in the head on Reeves Avenue near West 23rd Street in Lorain on July 11, 2016. He died the next day.
“On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, I received a phone call that changed my life and the lives of many family members forever,” Shinafelt’s mother, Kim Horvath, said. “My son had been shot and was dead. It was such a drastic sight I couldn’t even see him. The thought that my son lay dying for eight hours alone was devastating. To this day I have not wrapped my head around it.”
Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge John Miraldi said he has listened to a lot of victim statements in similar cases and he doesn’t remember a case where every single one of the people who spoke said they would pray for the person who took away their family member.
“So you sit there, believe it or not, lucky that the family has that kind of fortitude to speak to you like that,” he said to Ramey. “But if you don’t want to speak to them, that’s your choice.”
In the statement defense attorney Michael Kinlin read on Ramey’s behalf, the attorney did say Ramey was sorry for what transpired between the men.
“Darius regrets this entire incident and he’s sorry,” Kinlin said. “This is another tragic incident in Lorain County that didn’t need to happen involving a heated argument between two people that didn’t really know each other for no reason at all. However, Mr. Ramey felt threatened, but he shouldn’t have done what he did. He’s sorry for what he did, for the family, and the loss he’s created.”
Miraldi said he had concerns about Ramey’s apparent lack of remorse for his actions and the fact that he hadn’t apologized to the family himself.
“One of the sentencing factors I’m supposed to consider is remorse,” Miraldi said. “And you know what, I don’t see any. I don’t hear any, and that concerns me. I’m not going to force you to apologize but I’m worried about a young man who’s going to prison for 21 years and doesn’t have the guts to say ‘I’m sorry’ to this family.”
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