Saturday, June 01, 2002

Man pleads guilty in robbery, beating death

By Janice Morse,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The second defendant in the May 2001 beating death of a Middletown man has pleaded guilty to avoid the chance of a death sentence.

        Brad Isbell, a Middletown-area man who turns 22 this month, will spend a minimum of 34 years in prison before he is eligible for parole, according to Butler County Assistant Prosecutor David Kash.

        Mr. Isbell pleaded guilty as charged on three counts late Thursday: aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and intimidation of a witness.

        Mr. Isbell was convicted of the charges for robbing Marion Gilbert Emmett of $1 and his bank-machine card, which wouldn't function for his attackers.

        A co-defendant, Derrick Bird, took his chances with a trial in April. He was convicted and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

        Mr. Kash said he felt the outcome was fair because evidence suggested Mr. Bird was the primary instigator. Further, Mr. Isbell may have deserved the lesser sentence because “There's some indication of remorse and contrition if you plead,” Mr. Kash said.

        Mr. Kash pointed out that Mr. Isbell on Thursday publicly expressed remorse and said he wished he had tried to stop Mr. Bird rather than just going along with the robbery and beating of Mr. Emmett.

        Mr. Emmett's family was not present at Mr. Isbell's plea hearing, but they had been informed about it, Mr. Kash said.


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