Jury recommends life in prison without parole for man convicted of killing Akron police officer

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AKRON– A jury has recommended life in prison without parole for the man convicted of killing Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner.

Kenan Ivery, 36, apologized in court just hours before the jury reached its decision. He asked the jury to spare his life. They could have chosen the death penalty.

Judge Alison McCarty will officially sentence Ivery on November 3.

Last week, a Summit County grand jury convicted him of charges including aggravated murder, attempted murder and felonious assault for the November 2014 shooting at Papa Don’s Pub in Akron.

Prosecutors said Ivery was asked to leave Papa Don’s Pub in Akron, but returned with a gun. Winebrenner, 32, who was off-duty, tried to defuse the situation, but suffered two gunshot wounds. Four others were injured in the gunfire.

Ivery claimed he acted in self defense.

Officer Justin Winebrenner
Officer Justin Winebrenner

After the prosecution rested its argument in the penalty phase, defense attorneys started calling family members of Ivery.

Thursday, Ivery’s father and younger sister testified in the sentencing hearing. Friday, jurors also heard from psychologists before deliberating. They began deliberations around 3:30 Friday afternoon.

Read more here. 

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