By GARY POPP
A Jeffersonville man received a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to shooting a man in October 2011.
Joseph Mayes, 48, of Kopp Avenue, accepted a plea from the Office of the Clark County Prosecutor for a conviction of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Anthony Redd, of Jeffersonville, who was a 46 years old at the time of his death.
The 50-year sentence is to be served 30 years in the Indiana Department of Correction and 20 years as a suspended-probation term. With good-time credit, Mayes could serve 15 years of the 30-year sentence, at which time he will begin his 20-year probation term.
The sentencing hearing took place in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 with presiding Judge Daniel Moore.
Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull represented the state and was accompanied in the courtroom by Jeffersonville Police Deceptive Todd Hollis.
Attorney Bill Gray represented Mayes.
Redd was found by Jeffersonville police in his pickup truck deceased from several bullet wounds to his head in the evening of Oct. 22, 2011. He is believed to have been in the truck since about 11:15 p.m. the night before when the shooting occurred.
Mayes told the court he fired the shots after being spurred by sudden heat, as he saw his niece Katrina Baker in the act of giving oral sex to Redd through the window of his truck. According to statements from Baker to police during its investigation, she had a sexual relationship with Redd and he would supply her with drugs.
Police investigation reports show that Mayes and Baker communicated prior to Redd picking up Baker the night of his death, after she had arranged a drug transaction with Redd. Baker told police she discussed the transaction with Mayes, and he asked her what they could “get from Redd,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Redd later picked up Baker from the home she shared with her uncle, and the two drove a short distance to the alley on the side of the home when the sexual encounter began. The report continues that Mayes approached the driver’s side window of the truck and asked Redd if he had any pills.
“When Redd replied that he didn’t have any, Mayes pointed his gun into the window opening and fired several shots into the face of Anthony Redd,” according to Baker’s comments made to police provided in the affidavit.
Charges for Mayes of murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery were all reduced to the single count of voluntary manslaughter through the plea.
During the sentencing hearing, Mayes said it was his observation of the sexual act that caused him to fire the shots, but Mull said after the hearing that it was senseless murder stemming from a robbery.
Mull explained after the hearing that Mayes had to claim he acted in sudden heat to received the reduced voluntary manslaughter conviction.
“That was a legal requirement that was in this case, and he [Mayes] satisfied that by his answer, but, ultimately, this is a case where he went up to rob the victim and this occurred in the course of a robbery,” Mull said.
Mull said the lack of physical evidence that placed Mayes at the murder scene was the primary factor in the plea.
“There wasn’t any physical evidence, whatsoever,” Mull said. “So, our proof in this case, if it went to trial, would have been the lady who was present when he was murdered who was giving oral sex to the victim, and it would have been a jail-house snitch. Those would have been our main points of proof in the case, and that doesn’t play over a lot of times well in the courtroom.”
Mull said it was better for the prosecution and the victim’s family to come to an agreement and to avoid trial.
“He can’t appeal. He is there. He is stuck. He is sent away,” he said. “That was a better option in this case than going to trial on the murder and having a very significant risk he could have been acquitted and walked out of the door free.”
Mull said the incident has been traumatic to the family and the prosecutor’s office wanted help Reed’s loved ones cope with their loss.
“This family has went through a lot of suffering in this case,” Mull said. “They have been through a lot of heartache, and it was just imperative to us that we insure that he was convicted and went away to prison for a long time. The family deserved that justice, and we were happy to get that for them today.
Gray released a statement following the hearing that Mayes accepted responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty prior to trial.
“The resolution between Mr. Mayes and the government was fair, and the court’s decision to accept the plea agreement was appropriate,” Gray provided in the statement.