WAPAKONETA — One of three Columbus-area residents charged with murder in the 2018 shooting death of a St. Marys man pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.
Keith Tyrone Waddle Jr., who also goes by the name of Keith Tyrone Bitting, agreed to a deal that called for him to plead guilty to a first-degree felony count of involuntary manslaughter with a three-year firearm specification in exchange for the dismissal of murder counts and a number of other charges.
Waddle was charged, along with fellow Columbus residents Syniqua Bell and Jacar Bitting, in the April 11, 2018, shooting death of Dexter Lee Turner in a condominium on the south side of Grand Lake St. Marys in the 10900 block of state Route 364.
Auglaize County officials received a 911 call at approximately 3:22 a.m. that day in regard to a shooting. It was subsequently learned that Dexter Turner, 47, was killed and his son, Alim Amir Turner, 25, was shot and injured. Dexter Turner died April 16 at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center of injuries suffered in the shooting.
Bell was scheduled to stand trial Monday in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court, but that trial was continued at the last minute. Bitting’s trial is scheduled for Oct. 13.
An Auglaize County grand jury indicted Waddle in August 2019 on charges of aggravated murder with a firearm specification, two counts of murder with gun specifcations, and three counts of attempted murder, each with firearm specifications. He is also charged with felonious assault with a gun specification, a second-degree felony, and having weapons under disability, a felony of the third degree. The remaining suspects face similar charges.
Following his plea on Monday, Waddle was sentenced to 11 years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge. He will serve the mandatory three-year sentence on the firearm specification prior to beginning that sentence.
Both sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to a sentence out of Franklin County that has since expired while Waddle was awaiting trial in the Auglaize County case. He was given credit for 262 days of time served in the latest case.
Waddle was on probation at the time of Turner’s murder.