YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man on trial this week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for one of three shooting deaths at a North Side club reached a plea agreement on Friday in the middle of his trial.
Robert Shelton, 46, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a firearm specification for the Feb. 9, 2020, shooting death of Dymond Ortello, 37, in the parking lot of the Brothers of Power Nightclub on Logan Avenue.
Judge Maureen Sweeney sentenced Shelton to 13 to 18 years in prison, which was the sentence agreed upon by the attorneys in the case.
Dymond Ortello’s brother, Daniel Ortello, also 37, and Shelton’s friend Charles Pullen, 37, were killed in the club just before Dymond Ortello was killed.
Shelton shot Dymond Ortello in the parking lot as club patrons were fleeing in the parking lot. Prosecutors said Shelton took a gun off Pullen’s body and shot Dymond Ortello several times in the back as a city police officer pulled up.
Defense attorneys said Shelton was acting in self-defense because Dymond Ortello had threatened to kill him.
There had been plea negotiations that continued this week when Shelton’s trial began with jury selection on Monday and testimony on Tuesday.
Assistant Prosecutor Rob Andrews said he does not believe Shelton was acting in self-defense but the facts of the case support a manslaughter plea.
Defense Attorney Lynn Maro told Judge Sweeney that Shelton did not bring a gun with him when he went to the club early in the morning and had no intention of shooting anyone, which Shelton said was true.
“That night I wasn’t trying to shoot anyone,” he told Judge Sweeney. “My friend got killed and it put my back up against the wall.”
Shelton apologized to the families of the victims.
Denise Young, the sister of the Ortellos, said she forgives Shelton but she misses her brothers.
“He took my brothers,” she said. “They died over nothing … I’m glad it’s over.”