Updated at 4:28 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, with more information.
The suspect at the center of a deadly 2017 shooting outside a downtown nightclub pleaded guilty on Tuesday to attempted second-degree murder and firearm charges.
Roddarius Martin, 25, was accused of shooting and killing 22-year-old Sharone "Ronie" Porter in a parking lot across from Coyote Jack's nightclub on Cowart Street in December 2017.
At the time, witnesses said the incident began with an argument inside the club between Sharone Porter's brother, 24-year-old Torrie Porter, and several other men, one of whom was Martin. Surveillance footage corroborated those statements.
The fight continued outside where Martin fired several rounds into the air before shooting the brothers. Torrie Porter was shot in the leg, and Sharone Porter, who was reportedly trying to stop Martin, was fatally shot.
But Martin's attorney, Bill Speek, argued that, based on about three different shell casings being found at the scene, there was at least one other shooter that night and no eyewitness actually saw Martin shoot Sharone Porter. The gun used in the slaying hadn't been found, either.
Martin was later indicted on a reduced charge of attempted first-degree premeditated murder, as well as criminal attempted second-degree murder, employing a firearm during a dangerous felony and aggravated assault.
On Tuesday, the attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges were dismissed and Martin pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony. He was sentenced to a total of 16 years in prison.
It's not clear exactly why some of the charges were dismissed, but Hamilton County District Attorney's Office spokesman Bruce Garner said prosecutors noted that a second-degree murder charge — a class B felony — carries a stiffer sentence than voluntary manslaughter, a class C felony.
The defense already had raised questions about whether Martin even fired the fatal shot at all. And prosecutors would have had to prove premeditation and intent in order for an attempted first-degree murder charge to stick.
In the end, Sharone Porter's survivors were pleased with the 16-year sentence for Martin, Garner said.
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