Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

A 23-year-old Indiana man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison in connection with the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Mezmariah Wilson in June 2021 in Carlisle, according to reports.

Kyle Ray Johnson appeared in Sullivan County Superior Court for Friday’s sentencing.

Kyle Ray Johnson and Judge Hugh R. Hunt

As part of a plea agreement, Johnson pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, a Level 2 felony, resulting in a 20-year prison sentence.

He had initially been charged with murder.

Johnson also received a 15-year firearm enhancement for a total prison sentence of 35 years.

Judge Hugh R. Hunt accepted the plea agreement, which was filed in September.

All other charges were dismissed.

“We are satisfied with the result in Kyle Johnson’s case,” said John Michael Hiatt, Sullivan County chief deputy prosecutor. “We resolved this case with the blessing of Mezmariah Wilson’s family. We feel some sense of justice has been accomplished today.”

Hiatt worked on the case along with Sullivan Prosecutor Ann Mischler.

Another defendant in the case, Matthew Todd Earle, who also faces a murder charge, is scheduled for a pretrial conference in Sullivan Circuit Court Nov. 3.

“We’re hoping for resolution in that case, also,” Hiatt said.

Mezmariah Wilson, who had been a student at Terre Haute South Vigo High School, was shot while in Carlisle about 12 a.m. June 10, 2021, and died later that morning.

Indiana State Police said the shooting occurred during a large gathering of two groups who were reportedly there for a fight near the intersection of West Lewis and North Ledgerwood streets.

Earle told investigators he and Johnson had been asked to take part in the fight.

Earle told police he fired five rounds from his weapon into the ground, while Johnson fired about 15 rounds toward a group of people.

Surveillance video from the area showed the suspects later identified as Earle and Johnson firing guns at the time of the gathering.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com