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16-year-old gets 25 years for robbery

Victim shot, paralyzed during act

Whiteside

– Last year, he shot another teenager in the back, paralyzing him below the waist, likely for life.

Now, a 16-year-old Fort Wayne boy is looking at spending more than a decade in prison.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull on Thursday sentenced Walik Whiteside to 25 years in prison.

The sentence came as part of a plea agreement Whiteside made with Allen County prosecutors, where he pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in exchange for the 25-year sentence.

Whiteside’s prison time can be cut in half with good behavior and could be further cut if he continues to get an education in prison.

What landed Whiteside before a judge Thursday happened the night of Oct. 12.

Whiteside and another teen met in an alley just south of the 800 block of Colerick Street, near Weisser Park, to smoke marijuana.

At a secluded spot in the alley, Whiteside pulled out a revolver and demanded the teen’s money.

When the teen tried to run away, Whiteside shot him once in the back, which knocked him to the ground. Whiteside kept the gun trained on the teen and ordered him to empty his pockets. After taking the teen’s money, Whiteside fled toward John Street. The victim called 911 to report a shooting and that Whiteside had shot him.

The victim was taken to a hospital in serious condition but was later downgraded to critical.

The bullet from Whiteside’s gun was lodged into the victim’s spine and could not be removed.

He will likely be a paraplegic for the rest of his life, according to the court documents.

On the night of the shooting, police found Whiteside at his home, as well as three .38-caliber rounds.

One of his family members, who lived at the home with Whiteside, said he was missing two revolvers, including a short-barrel .38 with wooden grips, according to court records.

Two days after the shooting, the victim told police Whiteside shot him with a short-barrel revolver with wooden grips.

In an interview with police, Whiteside said he was in the alley with the victim but denied shooting him.

He was initially charged with robbery and aggravated battery.

By pleading guilty to the robbery charge, prosecutors agreed to drop the aggravated battery charge, according to court records.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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