Barberton Shooting: Suspects’ Family Talks

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BARBERTON, Ohio -- Two Akron brothers accused of killing a Barberton man and his teenage children have entered not guilty pleas to three charges of aggravated murder.

Eric Hendon, 31, and his younger brother Michael Hendon, 22, appeared before Barberton Municipal Court Judge David Fish on Wednesday.

The brothers are accused of going to the Barberton home of John Kohler, 42, on New Year's Eve with the intent of carrying out a robbery.

Ashley Carpenter, 18, and her brother David Kohler-Carpenter, 14, who were visiting their father, were shot and killed.

John Kohler and his girlfriend Ronda Blankenship, 38, were also shot.

Kohler later died at an Akron hospital.

In court on Wednesday were relatives of the Hendon brothers who said they were there to support their family.

"We don't know what happened.  We feel bad for the other family and our family as well," said a cousin who asked not to be identified.

"They're really good people, a good family overall.  Like we all said, we don't know what happened we don't know the details so we're basically praying, put it in God's hands," said another cousin.

Wednesday was Eric Hendon's 31st birthday.

He was released from prison last June after spending 13 years behind bars for an attempted murder and sexual battery in Akron.

"Since he got out he had a full time job as soon as he got out.  They going to church every week, you know, he has a girlfriend.  They supposed to move in together, you know, get married, so I don't understand how this could happen.  He was doing so much better," a cousin told Fox 8.

An attorney for Michael Hendon told the judge that he had no criminal history, other than some minor misdemeanors.

Judge Fish refused requests from attorneys to decrease a $10 million cash bond for both.

"In light of the gravity of the matter and the significant threat that may be visited on our community, we're going to leave the bond where it's at," ruled Fish.

Relatives of the Hendons said none of them knew the victims or their family.

Also in court was Nina Brown, another cousin of the defendants, who was asked by Fox 8 if either of them are capable of this crime.

"To me, no, " said Brown, adding, "I would never have thought in a million years."

The case will next go to a grand jury on Jan. 16.

*Click here for extended coverage on this story*


    • John Smith

      How long are we supposed to tolerate, appease, placate and cajole these BLACK savages? Since when and why does racial sensitivity to BLACKS outweigh ever other social consideration regardless of THEIR escalating animal savagery?

    • cj

      Its so funny that people are calling these suspected assailants animals and what not..What was the father even associated with these “no good thugs”. Maybe , no disrespect to the dead, he was involved in something not so up and up. The game, drugs, is color blind. This was no random act of violence. Whoever did this went inside with the intent to to get something more than a murder case..White drug dealers are equally responsible for their fate and their lived ones as black mexican or purple drug dealers

      • John Smith

        Just so we don’t confuse the issue with a diarrhea of excuses ……. the scumbag, lowlife, ghetto garbage, dirt bag, gangsta thug, urban terrorists were BLACK …… not maybe, not almost ….. not white, purple or green ……… BLACK!

  • Richard

    So the cousin doesn’t think a convicted felon, after serving 13 years for another violent crime, could have done this in a million years? Then what type of person could have? Wow, talk about denial.

    • SoSueMe

      How about a bullet between these 2 filthy thugs eyes will almost fix everything. But it still won’t bring those 2 kids back, you Godless turd.

    • Sharon

      Why do people get so bent out of shape if you mention church or GOD? It’s not GOD’s fault that this guy is a wolf in sheep’s clothing sitting in the sanctuary.

  • Pitter

    That’s right. They are good boys. They go to church every day. They wouldn’t do something like this……right. Trash…just plain trash. Is it a hate crime? Were they folks they killed white? Just wondering.

  • Carol

    You know, the police have not mentioned what kind of gun it was or if they recovered it, if there were finger prints, if drugs were found, if there was proof of breaking in, and how about the girlfriend that lived, can’t she make a good identification? We really know absolutely nothing. They are not even telling us on what grounds they arrested those guys. You know they committed the crime…..why would they arrest them with such high bonds……..why aren’t they telling some specifics. I swear, criminals have more rights than the victims. What are they hiding? Are they protecting the bad guys? This is going to go on and on and on until they figure we have all forgotten it. I hate to admit it because I am usually a fair person, but sometimes as in cases like this, I believe in vigilante justice, you know they have the proof…….just exterminate the evil.

    • Wow

      The oldest one is a sexual predator. Therefore, he was wearing a GPS device that placed him at the victims home during the time of the incident/resulting murders.

      • Not important

        You see even if the gps has placed the killer at there house it still could be a frame.. The killers were at a house next to door visiting a friend… -smoking weed- and I am sure if anyone in that house testified they would be found innocent… The matter of this is that these two individuals are in fact innocent… And how inhuman all of you people who are commenting are I’m surprised America doesn’t have more people in a psycward… Talking about how two people before there even convicted for the crime should have to be hung or shot between the eyes… I understand for friends and family to feel for the loss but to stoop that low is wrong and the justice feild is a bust…. I don’t know what else to write you all are fools who have researched very little on this case..

    • david

      If u had been keeping up with the case. Gun was a 25 cal the older one was on GPS tracking by the court .that put him at the seen .a search warrant provided the gun shoes and blue jeans with blood on them and so on

  • Trudy Knox

    Wait, The person that quoted said the two killers were good people, then why did the oldest one get out of prison for attempted murder. I rest my case. Good people my @ss

  • Jacqueline

    I’m not surprised they pleaded not guilty or surprised a bond reduction was requested. Criminals and lawyers do that. The prosecutor hasn’t presented the case to a grand jury so he can’t release info about guns or prints or witnesses.

    That will be released after the indictment, which I surely hope he gets.

  • Bunny Hornacek Holmes

    Wow, can some of you be any more hate filled individuals? We are ALL people (humans), yes, some act as though they are animals or savages, and others act as though they are so much better than others. For God’s sake, innocent lives were taken, it doesn’t matter who was whatever color, the fact remains that a crime was committed and someone must be held accountable for it! Some evidence must have pointed in the direction of these two people, otherwise they wouldn’t be where they are right now. As for them being held accountable, well that is up to the courts to decide as is their fate here on earth. Their fate at the end of their lives rests in God’s hands. Our fate for our sins is also in His hands….

    • John Smith

      Yes, let’s all get together about 3PM in the parking lot, hold hands and sing kumbaya. Ah, now we can all feel good about the world and have eternal hope in its future. You want to hold those responsible yet it doesn’t matter to you who they are? Race happens to be an integral part of who these BLACK savages are. Trying to side step the issue and make excuses and generalize about how human we all are is unmitigated, self serving, racially righteous nonsense. It is what it is …… you can go on deluding yourself all you want but it won’t change anything!


    If any of you had sense and did your research you would know that the one Hendon brother just got released from jail and served 13 years for shooting a female in her… private area… horrible.. and secondly he was wearing an ankle bracelet with GPS on it that placed him at the scene of the crime just minutes before one of the victims Rhonda made the 911 call, thirdly jeans with blood stains, a gun, money, coins rolled, and marijuana were found in the Hendon brothers home, GUILTY, and whats more pathetic, if you watched the video of the Hendon brothers family during the trial, they were all giggling and smiling and this is not a funny matter by no means at all and I am willing to bet if it was their family they wouldn’t be thinking this is so funny, true definition of ignorant, come on people, those poor innocent children did not have to die, you can blame it on the adults for selling marijuana all you want and yes they were very wrong, but thats no excuse for this hate crime which has happened, the blood stain on the jeans needs tested to see if it is the victims blood and the bullets need to be matched to the gun, investigators need to do their job, and these horrible trashy men need to stay locked up, and their horrible family who thinks this is a joke they will get whats coming, this was just a horrible thing and I am so sorry to the family

    white people need to start sticking together and maybe this world wouldnt become so bad and the drug era needs to stop, judges need to start cracking down on the young when they are caught with drugs

  • Concerned

    white people need to start standing up and speaking instead of being so silent and afraid, this is why things are the way they are now

    • John Smith

      White people are soooooooo hopelessly naïve and utterly street stupid. They allow themselves to be duped and intimidated by the BIG BLACK BOOGEYMAN …….. BOO!

  • free speech

    Let’s get this straight. Don’t try to down play the fact that they were selling DRUGS period. Not in any way am I saying they deserved this but we have to look at all the facts here. Just cause they said they found something doesn’t mean it’s related to that crime. If a man already served his time for his crime why is he being tried and convicted again?? Seems like double jeopardy…his past has nothing to do with this crime. Please spare of us from hearing about a crack whore who probably pulled the trigger herself for another hit. She did not change her ways.
    I truly feel sorry for those kids they had to pay with their lives because their parents were drug dealers. When you sell drugs be prepared for the consequences that comes with your CHOICES. Truly both sides are hurting here. If they are found Not Guilty …all you ignorant a$$ prejudice people will choke on your words believe me I will help you starting with John Smith….

  • Read Please

    free speech you are probably a family member of the Hendon’s so put a can in it, the gps put one of the Hendon brothers at the scene of the crime, you are truly ignorant and just want to deny the truth, how dare you call the woman fighting for her life a crack whore, you are pathetic and obviously don’t know people who do crack have rotted teeth and are mostly really thin, and its not double jeopardy ignorant A** because hes not being tried for the same crime, its a different crime, can tell your an uneducated thug just like the Hendon’s, go crawl back in your ghetto dumpster, what happened here was a tragedy, yes the parents were wrong for selling weed but weed is legal now in many states so weed isn’t even that bad, but the father was still wrong, but nobody in their right mind should shoot two innocent children multiple times and kill them, so go back to your trashy thug family who laughs in court about this tradgedy

  • Race

    You read the new article that is out from Rhonda Blankenship she claims that the hendon brothers went after the children first and John Kohler tried to save his children but couldn’t that is such a scum a lowlife thing to do. To go after innocent children first that just goes to show you how sick and Croll they are this was a hate crime if the victims were not white they would not I’ll be dead they did this because the victims were white this is a nasty scum lowlife thing to do monkeys

  • Freedom of Speech

    Wow obvious the case is not being followed closely before you are posting your opinion on here. The lady involved in Eric Hendon last case has been on the news that’s who I called a crack whore not the victim in the hospital Rhonda Blankenship . Truly my heart goes out to her and her family. I just need to know that they will get a fair trial and not be found guilty of their past crimes. Cleary reading your opinions on here lets me know most of you have already found them guilty with comments like hang the monkeys etc. When did this crime become about race??? Our black children all across the world are dying on a daily basis and you never hear about it or get this much attention. Yes I agree the kids or the parents did not deserve this regardless of what drug they were selling. But just make sure you convict the right person/persons before you just assume because the Police said they did it then they are guilty. Clearly they have no DNA evidence if they are relying on that GPS they will be found Not guilty. All who uses GPS know it will put you in the vicinity but not in the house…in which they already said that….Bottom line what happen to Innocent until proven Guilty??? I love America….freedom of speech….And yes Weed is legal in 20 states but OHIO is not one of them. No one in their right mind would commit this crime who is on house arrest…period. Serving 13 years clearly he knew better.

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