Man pleads to attempted robbery, obstruction

Published 9:35 am Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Ironton man originally charged in the 2009 murder of a Sciotoville man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a much lesser crime.

Calvin Kersey, 24, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Scioto County Common Pleas Court to obstruction of justice and attempted robbery, Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said. Judge Howard H. Harcha III sentenced the man to four years and 11 months for the charges.

Kersey had been charged in the stabbing death of 27-year-old Jotham Lee Parker. His co-defendant, Larry Delawder, is serving a life sentence for the murder.

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Parker died after being stabbed in the head Dec. 5, 2009. The co-defendants were attempting to break into Parker’s truck while it was parked at a bar when the victim tried to stop them.

Kersey’s defense attorney, Sterling Gill, said his client was not at the scene of the murder.

The man had instead tripped and fallen as he was being chased by Parker. He then got up and ran to a neighbor’s house, where he tripped again and was knocked unconscious, according to his attorney. It was afterwards, while Kersey was unconscious, that Delawder stabbed Parker in the head, Gill said.

“He didn’t do it,” Gill said, later adding that Kersey could have served a life sentence if he had been found guilty.

Kuhn said the prosecution had looked at the homicide charge over the past year and a half and ultimately could not tie Kersey directly to the murder.

Kuhn said the night Kersey was arrested he had pretended to be asleep when officers came to get him and he had changed his clothes, which lead to the obstruction of justice charge.