Two Akron brothers are facing potential death sentences for their alleged roles in the New Year’s Eve shooting deaths of two Barberton teens and their father.
The capital murder indictment against Eric Donta Hendon, 31, and his brother, Michael Deon Hendon, 22, was announced Friday by Summit County prosecutors.
“This was a truly senseless crime that has shattered a community,” Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said. “An entire family — including two children — was killed. And the lone survivor of this brutal attack will carry physical and emotional scars for the rest of her life.”
Attorneys for the brothers could not be reached for comment late Friday afternoon, when the indictment was released.
The indictment is believed to be the first capital murder case lodged against two brothers since 1989, when brothers Edward Swiger and Michael Swiger were indicted in the slaying of Roger Pratt.
The Swigers each avoided death sentences. Edward remains in prison; Michael was released in 2004.
The Hendon indictment also means Summit County now has nine death-penalty defendants with cases pending on the Common Pleas Court docket. It is not clear whether they will be tried together.
The brothers are accused of forcing their way inside the home of John Kohler on Dec. 31 and shooting him, his two teenage children and his girlfriend.
Ashley Carpenter, 18, died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Her brother, David, 14, was shot multiple times in the head. They were both found in a rear bedroom.
John Kohler, 42, was shot in the head and died Jan. 3. His girlfriend, Ronda Blankenship, 38, suffered a gunshot wound to the eye, but survived.
Police, in court filings, contend the Hendons went to the Seventh Street Northeast home to rob Kohler, whom they said was a known marijuana dealer.
Eric Hendon was released from prison in June after serving 13 years for sexually assaulting a woman and shooting her in the vagina. As a condition of his parole, he was required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet.
Police and parole officials say they used the GPS’ history to place Hendon at the scene of the shootings.
In addition to multiple counts each of aggravated murder and death-penalty specifications, the brothers also face charges of attempted murder and aggravated robbery.
The brothers remain jailed under $10 million bonds. They are scheduled to be arraigned in Common Pleas Court on Jan. 29.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or email@example.com.