CINCINNATI — Nearly two years after the violent night at an East End nightclub, the surviving shooter agreed to plead guilty in the case. A Hamilton County judge found Cornell Beckley guilty on seven counts of a 38-count indictment.
The defense and prosecution agreed to a 19-year prison sentence for Beckley. Judge Steven Martin will officially sentence Beckley on Dec. 7. The judge is not bound by the agreement and could tack on additional years. Without the plea Beckley could have faced more than 65 years in jail if convicted, the judge said.
On Tuesday, Beckley's attorney requested a presentence investigation report -- delaying the sentencing until December.
Two people, including one of the accused shooters, died and 15 people were hurt when shots were fired inside the Cameo Night Club on Kellogg Avenue on March 26, 2017. O’Bryan Spikes, a 27-year-old father, was killed in the crossfire. Cincinnati police detectives estimate as many as 800 people where inside the club at the time.
The trial date for Beckley had been delayed several times. It was previously scheduled for May, and again for this coming February.
Beckley was originally facing 38 charges in connection to the shooting; two counts of murder, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, 30 counts of felonious assault, one count of having weapons while under disability, one count of illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises, one count of carrying concealed weapons and one count of inducing panic.
More than a year after the shooting, Beckley was accused of bribing witnesses and tampering with a red jacket that could be used as evidence in the case. He was charged with bribery, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice in April of 2018. Prosecutors said Beckley and an alleged accomplice, Justin Watson, tried to get witnesses to change their stories or leave town.
The other suspect, Deondre Davis, died in the hospital after the shooting. His family has maintained his innocence, and charges against him were dismissed posthumously. Cameo Night Club never reopened.
For more coverage on the Cameo Night Club shooting, visit WCPO.com/Cameo.