The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 5:50 pm

Suspect avoids trial, pleads guilty in shooting death

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

A man facing a jury trial this week for murder pleaded guilty to a lesser voluntary manslaughter charge, putting a halt to court proceedings already underway. 

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tom Chaille signed a plea deal Monday for Markquiel Derrick, 29, who is accused of shooting Antonyo Stephens, 42, on Aug. 14, 2020, at a home in the 4900 block of South Harrison Street. 

The plea agreement calls for a 25-year sentence with five years suspended and 20 years behind bars, according to court documents. 

Sentencing was scheduled for at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 24.

If accepted by Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull, the plea deal will dismiss the murder charge and a gun enhancement charge, which could have resulted in 85 years in prison. 

Witnesses were at the South Harrison Street home after Stephens was shot multiple times in the abdomen, back, left leg and hand, court documents state. He found lying inside the front door.

"Quiel shot me," Stephens told detectives at the scene, court documents state. "He tried to kill me over Taurean Hayden."

Stephens died at a hospital.

One witness said Derrick, of the 1400 block of East Lewis Street, had randomly contacted her after she hadn’t heard from him in a couple of years. He drove past the house and spoke to her just before the incident, she told police. 

Another witness who was with Derrick said the defendant was paid $10,000 to shoot Stephens, court documents said. 

Attorneys Caryn E. Garton and Nicholas F. Wallace are representing Derrick.

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