Four men, 14-year-old charged with Cincinnati contract killings

Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 15:45:02-04

Five people — the youngest a 14-year-old boy — were indicted Wednesday in connection to a shooting spree that claimed four lives between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18.

Two of the murders were for pay, prosecutors wrote in a news release announcing the indictments. Two were incidental — one friend of an intended target, one person they encountered on their way to a different confrontation.

The group faces a total of 79 charges, including 38 counts of murder and aggravated murder.

All five suspects, including the 14-year-old, could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted.

“This group has caused irreparable harm to our community and impacted several families forever through these horrific crimes,” police Chief Eliot Isaac wrote.

According to prosecutors, 21-year-old Carl Godfrey was hired to kill two people and enlisted the help of his accomplices: 18-year-old Jason Gray, 30-year-old Mario Gordon and a 14-year-old identified by prosecutors as “M.T.”

Godfrey and Gray were hired to kill Jeremiah Campbell in late January and shot him to death on Jan. 31, prosecutors wrote.

The next day, M.T. arranged a Facebook meeting with two people and killed one of them, Terrance North, when they arrived.

On Feb. 16, Godfrey sent Gray, Gordon and M.T. to complete a second killing for which he had been contracted. The trio, driven by 49-year-old Connor Inabnitt, spotted the target inside a vehicle with passengers and opened fire.

The target survived. Deontay Otis, one of the vehicle’s other occupants, died on the scene.

The final shooting occurred two days later, according to prosecutors, when Godfrey and M.T. “armed themselves and entered Millvale” in retaliation for another, unspecified incident. They would shoot and kill Donnell Steele before they left.

Godfrey faces four counts of aggravated murder, seven counts of murder, 10 counts of felonious assault, one count of aggravated robbery and three counts of having weapons under disability.

Gray stands charged with three counts of aggravated murder, five counts of murder, eight counts of felonious assault, one count of aggravated robbery and two counts of having weapons under disability.

Gordon has one aggravated murder charge, two counts of murder, six counts of felonious assault and one count of weapons under disability.

Inabnitt, the accused driver, faces one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder and six counts of felonious assault.

M.T., the 14-year-old, could be tried as an adult for six counts of murder, one count of aggravated murder, three counts of attempted murder and six counts of felonious assault.

The clients who hired Godfrey for the two contract killings were not indicted or identified on Wednesday, according to prosecutors.

“The violence perpetrated by and on young men in our city is out of control, and we must get a handle on it quickly to stop the cycle of trauma and victimization,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters wrote in a news release. “Our communities cannot thrive if there are people in them causing this kind of chaos. The callousness and disregard for the value of these victim’s lives is sad and, frankly, something that should concern all of us.”