William Knight, 64, of Streetsboro was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted earlier this month in the shooting death of 24-year-old Keith Johnson of Akron.
The following is a press release from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office:
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tammy O’Brien sentenced William Knight, 64, of Lady Catherine Street in Streetsboro, to life in prison for killing 24-year-old Keith Johnson.
Knight will be eligible for parole after serving 18 years of his sentence.
On April 10, 2018, a Summit County jury found Knight guilty of the following charges:
“Mr. Knight’s decision to fire his gun forever changed the lives of two families. Today, as Keith Johnson’s mother Laquita said, justice was served. I truly hope the Johnson family finds peace as they move forward,” said Prosecutor Walsh.
In the evening of March 20, 2017, William Knight shot and killed Keith Johnson. The shooting followed a dispute over a stolen dirt bike. Earlier that day, Knight’s son-in-law noticed his dirt bike, which had been stolen in February of 2016, was for sale on a social media site. Knight, his daughter and son-in-law went to Danmead Avenue in Akron to confront Keith Johnson and recover the dirt bike. When Johnson attempted to leave the area on the bike, the son-in law grabbed the dirt bike in an attempt to stop Johnson. Johnson was able to pull away from the son-in-law, but was subsequently shot in the head by Knight. The jury rejected arguments by William Knight’s attorney that Knight was acting in self-defense and defense of his family members.
Convicted Akron rapist Roland Pyle, 52, was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.
Pyle's victim came forward to a school counselor recently, alleging that Pyle raped her back in 2013 on her 11th birthday. Pyle was charged with one count of felony rape of a victim under the age of 13 and one count of gross sexual imposition, a third degree felony.
Pyle is not eligible for parole.
Jeffrey Conrad of Toledo has been sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Russell.
Russell's body was found in the backyard of her Cuyahoga Falls home back in August of 2014 by her then 14-year-old daughter. Russell, who had a protection order against him, was arrested and charged with murder. A jury found him guilty of Aggravated Murder, Felonious Assault, Violating a Protection Order, and Domestic Violence.
In addition to the life sentence, Summit County Common Pleas Court Paul Gallagher tacked on 11 years for the assault of a fellow inmate. Conrad, remorseless in court Wednesday, wore a smile as he maintained his innocence in the murder of Russell whose body was found in her backyard. Conrad was convicted by a jury back in 2015.
Conrad made the news during the murder trial when he chose to represent himself and then, threatened to shoot other people in the courtroom. Later he decided that he didn't want to be in the courtroom any longer and removed himself, leaving no one to represent him and the defense of his case. He was in court for sentencing, and according to the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, showed no remorse and claimed his innocence while smiling with the family of Amanda Russell present.