In the courts: Woman gets 5 years for shooting man; man gets life for stabbing woman

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A 21-year-old Columbus woman has been sentenced to five years in prison in Franklin County Common Pleas Court Monday after admitting to shooting a man in the head during an argument.

Judith Tatum, of South Linden, pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter during a hearing on Monday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, according to court records. Other charges, including murder, were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

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According to court and police records, Tatum killed 30-year-old Robert Newbern after an early morning argument on Nov. 28 at Tatum's home on the 1500 block of East 25th Street.

Around 2 a.m., Newbern, who was from the West Side, was found in the front yard with a gunshot wound to his head. He was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, where he died the next day from his injuries. Tatum was arrested and charged with murder in connection with his death.

As part of her plea agreement, Tatum was sentenced by Judge Andy Miller to two years for the involuntary manslaughter charge and an additional three years in prison for a firearm specification for a combined five-year sentence.

Man gets life in prison for stabbing woman in March 2020

A Columbus man was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 27 to 32.5 years, after a jury earlier found him guilty of stabbing a woman to death in her apartment in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood on the Near East Side.

William A. Elliott, 48, of Franklinton, was found guilty by a jury in June of multiple charges, including aggravated murder and kidnapping, in connection with the fatal stabbing death of 23-year-old Maria Inez Best on March 13, 2020.

Around 9 a.m. that morning, one of Best's neighbors at an apartment building on the 1400 block of Phale D. Hale Drive looked in Best's window and saw her lying on the floor. The neighbor called Columbus police, who found Best deceased inside.

According to court records, Elliott had been staying with Best, but the day before her death, on March 12, 2020, Best called police and told them she wanted them to remove Elliott, as well as several other people who were staying in her apartment.

Best told the officers the unwanted guests had threatened her, taken her phone and slammed her head into a wall. Elliott was forced to leave by officers, who gave Best information on filing charges against him in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Franklin County prosecutors said Elliott went to an apartment next door to Best’s apartment, where witnesses told investigators they overheard him discussing revenge. Police and prosecutors said that Elliott went back to Best's apartment hours later with co-defendant Nicole White, 41.

White helped hold Best down while Elliott repeatedly kicked, taunted and stabbed Best over several hours, eventually killing her, prosecutors and police said.

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Enhanced surveillance video obtained from nearby Ohio State University East Hospital helped establish a timeline of events, including movement in and out of the victim’s apartment while the homicide was taking place, prosecutors said.

Columbus police located a knife used to stab Best in an outside trash receptacle near her apartment. The knife was found to have DNA from Best on both the blade and the handle. Police also recovered rubber gloves in a separate trash can outside Best’s apartment with DNA that matched both Best and Elliott.

On Tuesday, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Stephen McIntosh ordered Elliott to serve life in prison without any possibility of parole for an aggravated murder charge, as well as a minimum of at least 27 years in prison and up to 32.5 years in prison for the kidnapping and other charges.

White pled guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, kidnapping and tampering with evidence as part of a plea deal. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8.


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Woman sentenced to prison for shooting man during November fight