Also murdered was David's sister, Ashley Carpenter, 18.
Hendon was given three consecutive life sentences today.
The crimes occurred in Barberton, Ohio on New Years Eve, 2013.
Home invasions are almost exclusively a black-on-white phenomenon. While some white criminals commit home invasions, we are aware of none in which the attackers were white and their victims were black.
Ronda Blankenship survived the attack. You may read her story here ►
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An Akron man was given three consecutive life sentences Tuesday for complicity to commit aggravated murder in the 2013 New Year’s Eve shooting deaths of two Barberton teens and their father.
Michael Deon Hendon, 23, who was convicted of the crime in a Summit County jury trial last month, is not eligible for parole under the sentencing order of Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones.
Before learning his fate, Hendon was given a chance to address the court and the public gallery, which was packed nearly to capacity by family members and friends of the victims.
He rose briefly from the defense table, turned his head slightly over his left shoulder and said: “I just want to say sorry to the family. That’s it.”
The scene became tense minutes later when the father of one of the young victims stood and shouted at Hendon from the gallery’s front row: “You killed my daughter” — followed by a profanity as he began crying uncontrollably.
A sheriff’s deputy quickly calmed the situation and instructed those in the gallery, more than two dozen, to remain in their seats until other deputies escorted Hendon out of the courthouse.
Deputies later talked to the grieving man, Dan Stephens of Barberton, who is the biological father of 18-year-old victim Ashley Carpenter, but did not place him under arrest.
Ashley’s father figure, John Kohler, 42, and her brother, David Carpenter-Kohler, 14, were shot in the head during a home-invasion robbery planned by Michael Hendon, trial testimony showed.
His older brother, Eric Donta Hendon, 32, was identified by both sides as the shooter.
Both men were armed with handguns and went after a stash of marijuana and money that Kohler, a small-time seller, had kept hidden in a closet safe.
His longtime girlfriend, Ronda Blankenship, now 39, was stabbed in the cheek and shot in the head during the six-minute rampage, losing her left eye, but survived.
Reading from a written statement, Blankenship told Hendon her name, spelling it out, and gave brief but poignant remarks without breaking down.
“First of all, I really want you to know, Michael Hendon, I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor,” Blankenship said.
“You don’t scare me anymore. Who’s got control now? I do. I want you to remember my deceased boyfriend and the two kids, each and every day, and then remember me.
“I’m not scared. I’m empowered by this experience,” she said. “I miss my family and Johnnie every day.”
She then told Hendon that he and his brother didn’t have to do what they did, because Kohler already had given them what they wanted from the closet safe.
“That,” she said, “makes you a murderer.”
Jones praised Blankenship for her courage in testifying at Hendon’s trial, telling her that the strength and fortitude she showed in the many months since the shootings “is to be respected.”
The sentence that she gave Hendon also included 11-year prison terms and multiple 3-year terms for gun specifications, all to be served consecutively, before he begins serving his time on the life sentences.
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