Two plead no contest in January robbery, shooting in Pittsfield Township
Two of the three people charged with robbing a man before he was shot in the back of the head during an apparent drug deal gone awry pleaded no contest to robbery charges Thursday.
Steven Hall, 20, and Charles Johnson, 16, both pleaded no contest to charges of assault with intent to rob while armed in exchange for multiple other felony charges being dropped. Hall, Johnson and Farai Munetsi, 17, were all charged in the Jan. 19 shooting at the Lexington Club Apartments in Pittsfield Township.
According to the plea deal read in court Thursday, Hall and Johnson will both serve between 11 and 20 years in prison for the assault with intent to rob while armed charge. Without the deal, they faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.
A plea of no contest means Hall and Johnson do not wish to fight the charge but are not admitting their guilt. The reason given in court by Roland Sizemore, Hall’s attorney, and Robert Killewald, Johnson’s attorney, was potential civil liability.
Despite not admitting their guilt, Hall and Johnson will be sentenced by Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge David Swartz as if they had pleaded guilty.
In exchange for his plea, Hall will have charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony dismissed at sentencing. Johnson will have charges of armed robbery, assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony dropped at sentencing.
Swartz agreed to not object to Hall and Johnson possibly going to boot camp as a part of their sentence. Sizemore said there was only a remote chance of Hall becoming eligible.
“I don’t believe he will ever be eligible based on this plea,” he said. Killewald agreed that was likely true for Johnson as well.
Police allege that Johnson, Hall and Munetsi robbed a 33-year-old Ypsilanti man during a drug deal just after 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Lexington Club Apartments. Police said Johnson pulled the trigger and shot the man in the back of the head. The man survived the incident.
Johnson underwent a competency exam during the court proceedings and is said to be bipolar and affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Swartz will sentence Johnson and Hall at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 15. Munetsi is scheduled to be sentenced in his case at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25, according to court records. Johnson and Hall remain in custody. There were no records of Munetsi being lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail as of Friday morning.