Man pleads guilty in 2012 homicide



A Midland Avenue man pleaded guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges he participated in a 2012 homicide.

Kyle Patrick, 19, entered guilty pleas Monday before Judge John M. Durkin to charges of murder, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence in the shooting death of Michael Abighanem, 27, of Thalia Street.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 16 years to life in prison. Sentencing will be at 1:30 p.m. March 10.

Patrick originally had been charged with aggravated murder, which carries a possible life sentence, but that charge was amended to murder in exchange for his plea.

A jury was set to be chosen for a trial Monday before the plea agreement was reached. It took about 90 minutes before the agreement finally was hammered out, with Patrick meeting with his family members at one point before the plea was accepted.

Patrick was 17 when Abighanem was killed but was charged as an adult.

Judge Durkin can sentence Patrick over the recommended sentence, but he told Patrick he probably will stick to the recommended sentence because Patrick took responsibility for his role in the shooting.

Patrick is one of two men accused of killing Abighanem, who was shot after he and a friend went to a house on Silliman Street on the West Side about 4:30 p.m. April 27, 2012, so Abighanem could sell a video-game system and a laptop computer.

The friend told police Abighanem went in the front door with a male while he parked the car. The friend eventually went inside also, where he noticed a second man.

Abighanem and one of the males went upstairs, then the friend heard a “pop,” heard Abighanem call his name, then heard a second “pop,” and the friend fled.

Police were called, and they found Abighanem’s body inside the house.

Reginald Whitfield, 23, of East Lucius Avenue, is expected to enter pleas today to charges of manslaughter and aggravated robbery in connection with Abighanem’s death. He also will go before Judge Durkin.

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