UPDATE: Man takes plea deal, receives prison sentence after 2016 fatal home invasion in Fairmont


One of six people charged in a Fairmont robbery/murder incident took a plea deal just before his trial was set to begin Monday.

John Deahl, 28, was set for trial in front of Marion County Circuit Judge Patrick Wilson for his role in a November 2016 home invasion that left Malcolm Whitted, of Detroit, Michigan, dead.

Just before the trial, Deahl agreed to take a plea deal, according to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Deahl pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy.

Deahl was not required to testify against his codefendants – Oscar Chapman, Devon Stephens, Vanny Clay, Timothy Lambert and Michelle Belton – as part of his plea deal, officials said. However, he was required to provide a basis for his guilty plea, which included admitting that he conspired with those five individuals to commit the crime.

Judge Wilson sentenced Deahl to one to five years in prison for conspiracy and 36 years in prison for second-degree murder, which will run concurrently totaling 36 years. Because it was found that a firearm was involved, Deahl will not be eligible for parole until he serves 12 years in prison, officials said.

Deahl is the second of the six codefendants to be sentenced for Whitted’s death. Chapman was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in January and was sentenced to life in prison in April.

Stephens’ case was continued to the October term of court, officials said, and Belton is currently serving time in prison after agreeing to a plea deal. There is no word on Clay or Lambert’s cases at this time.

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