John Sanders, Robert Carpenter plead guilty to murder in death of Parris Hummons

CINCINNATI -- Parris Hummons was in her second year of studies at Wright State University when she died last year.

Before that, her grandmother said she'd written "My American Dream," a paper about her life's aspirations.

The 19-year-old wanted to earn a PhD, she wrote: "I want my family to be proud that my last name is Hummons."

Parris Hummons (photo provided)

That American dream would be cut short April 16, 2016, when Hummons came to Cincinnati to visit a friend. Her aunt said they were going to go out shopping, have a good time.

Then Hummons was shot as they drove along Reading Road in Bond Hill. A witness said she found Hummons' friend screaming for help and covered in blood.

Hummons was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment, but she died from her injuries. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said she wasn't the intended target.

Her killers, John Sanders and Robert Carpenter, pleaded guilty to murder in Common Pleas Judge Jody Luebbers' courtroom Monday.

Carpenter told the court he never intended to kill anyone but wanted to send a message. He'd been in a fight earlier in the day and was out looking for revenge. With Sanders driving, Carpenter fired on the vehicle he thought was carrying the man he'd fought with.

"I want to apologize for my actions," he said. "I wasn't thinking rationally ... if I could take everything back, I would."

Sanders asked Hummons' family for forgiveness.

"It was reckless and stupid," he said. "I pray for the Hummons family everyday. I know we're all human, but I hope one day they can forgive me."

Shirley Rosell, Hummons' grandmother who brought her "American Dream" to court, said the family would never recover.

"You took my joy that night," she said. "When you put the bullet in her head, you put the bullet in our hearts."

Hummons had been studying rehabilitation services at Wright State; benefactors created a memorial scholarship in her name.

"I want to choke both of you," her uncle and legal guardian, Vernon, told the killers. "She could have been a doctor."

Vernon Hummons said he believed his niece died "because someone couldn't take a butt-whooping."

Parris Hummons' best friend, Dominique Nation, told the court that her friend's death "has made me question everything that I know."

"Just being in this space around either of them is hurting me because Parris had so much going for her," Nation said.

Carpenter and Sanders also pleaded guilty to two gun specifications and felonious assault. Luebbers sentenced Carpenter to 28 years to life in prison, and sentenced Sanders to 20 years to life.

Print this article Back to Top