Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Two plead guilty in plot to stop man from testifying



By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Two people who participated in a murder-for-hire plot to stop a shooting victim from testifying against one of them pleaded guilty Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Dante Robb, 22, of Mount Healthy, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

His girlfriend, Denise Hayes, 20, of Forest Park pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to intimidate a crime witness. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 12.

A third defendant, Gregory Gibson, 33, of Forest Park, is scheduled to appear in court June 30.

Each had been indicted in February on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

Robb and another man, Dale Phillips, 18, of College Hill, were accused of shooting Hemant Shah, owner of Bud's Pony Keg in College Hill, during a Nov. 25 robbery.

Robb and Gibson came up with a plan to kill Shah so he couldn't testify in court, according to the prosecutor's office. The two directed Hayes to someone they thought was a hit man with a plan and proposed payment, prosecutors said. The hit man was actually an undercover Cincinnati police officer.

Phillips also pleaded guilty to his part in the original robbery Monday and was sentenced to five years in prison.

"This is peace of mind," Shah said.

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com




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