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3 suspects plead guilty, 1 dismissed in battery


Three of six men scheduled to stand trial together in connection with a beating and robbery pleaded guilty Wednesday, and charges against one other were dismissed just days before their trial was to begin.

The six men – Curtis Williams, 20; Andrew Gibson, 19; Ervin Herman, who was 19 in February; Justin Cedrick Dawson, 19; Charles Phillips Jr., 19; and Kulon Lewis Jr., 20 – were to be tried together in connection with the November battery of James “JJ” Oldham Jr.

The case against Lewis was dismissed this week. No further infor­ma­tion was available Wednesday afternoon.

Williams, Gibson and Dawson pleaded guilty to their respective roles. The case remains pending against Irving and Phillips, court documents show.

According to court documents and police records, about 4:15 p.m. Nov. 8, the six men went to the 400 block of Pinegrove Lane to confront Oldham.

Four of the six gave chase to Oldham and began punching and kicking him. One other stood as a look­out, restraining witnesses as they tried to intervene. The group forced Oldham into the back seat of a car and then drove off, according to court documents.

Oldham told police he was taken to another location where he was held hostage for about three hours and battered by all six defendants.

He alleges that the men pistol- whipped him when he refused to tell them where his money was, according to court documents.

One of the men then took Oldham to another location and held him hostage for another half-hour, according to court documents.

Eventually, he was taken to Kett­ler Park near Buell Drive and Paul­ding Road, where he was picked up by his father.

Oldham told police he lost consciousness during the initial battery at Pinegrove Lane.

Williams, Dawson and Gibson pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal confinement, a Class B fel­ony. Each one will be sentenced to no more than 12 years in prison.

Additional charges of battery, a Class C felony, pending against all three will be dismissed at sentencing, according to court documents.

Lewis also was charged with crim­i­nal confinement and battery. Those charges were dismissed.

The six men were scheduled to stand trial beginning late this week with jury selection. The trial was expected to continue through Aug. 15.

There is a warrant out for Phillips' arrest after he failed to appear for a hearing in February, and his trial dates will likely be rescheduled.

Herman's trial has been moved to December, according to court documents.