Fisher Shipes In CUSTODY With A Sentence Of 14 YearsRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 08 2020 12:50 PM
HOUSTON COUNTY: This morning 21 year old Fisher Shipes learned his fate before the Honorable Butch Binford, Circuit Court Judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit for Houston and Henry County.
Fisher Shipes was great friends with Christian Mullins. Such good friends that before May 19, 2018 Fisher had a tatto with Christian's name on his chest or upper body.
On May 19, 2018, Fisher, Christian and some others were invited to a 16 year old friends house at 2108 Baker Trace Drive in Dothan. There was alcohol present.
The out of town attorney representing Fisher, William Alexander Ellis, told the court this morning that Fisher had unloaded the weapons at the house, a shotgun, rifle and handguns. He failed to clear the one in the chamber.
During some horseplay, as I understand, Fisher pointed the shotgun towards or near where Fisher was and pulled the trigger which struck Christian in the abdomen.
Two others at the house, thought Christian was playing, but when they realized Christian was actually struck in the abdomen, fled the house.
According to the prosecution and defense, when emergency units arrived, Christian and Fisher, told law enforcement a black male shot Christian on the porch. Christian was rushed to a local hospital by Dothan Fire and EMS where he later died.
Later Fisher told the story of what actually took place.
ENTER OF GUILTY PLEA
Under the advise of Defense Attorney Legal Counsel William Alexander Ellis, Fisher Shipes entered a guilty plea to the offense of Manslaugter on October 21, 2019.
BECAUSE OF A PLEA, JUDGE DID NOT HEAR ALL OF THE FACTS SO HE ASKED...
Judge Binford did not get a chance to hear all of the facts of the case before sentencing. He did get a chance to read a report from Alabama Paroles and Probation. But that is not a detailed set of all of the facts.
Judge Binford asked the attorney's how did Christian Mullins end up in the backyard. The story given was Fisher was attempting to get Christian into his truck to carry him to the hospital. When he could not get him loaded into the truck he ran around the house and to a neighbor to call 911 and get the address. Fisher did not know the address in order to tell 911 where he was located.
The attorney's told Judge Binford, according to the Dothan Police report, Christian was alive and responsive, and he gave the same version of being shot by a black man on a motorcycle as did Fisher.
STATEMENT OF FISHER SHIPES
Defense Attorney told Judge Binford he had something to say. Fisher told the Judge that he truly expresses his remorse to Christian's mom. Fisher had wanted to reach out to Christian's mom but his attorney would not let him.
Fisher continued this was a tragic event and he has had to live with it. That he deserves punishment. He can not express how sorry he is, that Christian was his best friend. They stayed nights with each other and this was a tragic accident.
Fisher Shipes attorney described that he would not let Fisher contact Christian's mom. That he has personally witnessed Fisher emotionally torn apart over this when he visited him in his home.
PROSECUTOR SETH BROOKS
One entire side of the courtroom was full of friends and family of the Mullins family. Brooks said they filed a firearm enhancement which makes the minimum sentence 10 years to 20 years. The courtroom is full and the Prosecution stands by what the family ask for and that is 20 years.
That Christian Mullins outcome is final because he is deceased. That the defendant pointed the shotgun at Christian and the trigger was pulled recklessly or by accident. The prosecution ask for 20 year sentence.
WITNESSES BEFORE SENTENCING
Four people testified for the prosecution before sentencing. Two young ladies, Christian's baseball coach, and Christian's daddy. All expressed the sleepless nights, the heartache of missing Christian, how good of a friend, son and player ( teammate ) he was.
At 9:31 AM the Honorable Butch Binford, called Fisher Shipes and his attorney to the bench to be sentenced. The Judge asked was there anything Fisher wished to say before the Judge passed sentence of law on Fisher Shipes.
Judge Binford sentenced Fisher Shipes, age 21, to 14 years in the Alabama Department of Corrections, a $ 1,000.00 fine, $ 500.00 to the victim's comp fund, court cost and restitution. The prosecution asked time to file for restitution and Judge Binford gave 30 days in order for the prosecution to file for restitution.
AFTER PRONOUNCEMENT OF SENTENCE
Fisher Shipes was taken into immediate custody of the Houston County Sheriff Department. He was searched, leg irons and handcuffs placed on him, and later escorted from the courtroom to a holding cell where a prisoner transport van will pick him up at the Houston County Courthouse and transport him to the Houston County Jail.
Once arrived at the Houston County Jail he will be taken into a room, instructed to remove all of his clothing, to include underwear, and he will be just like he came into this world, naked.
He will be looked at head to toe, turned around and looked up and down head to toe, then told to hold his privates in his hands, cough as they look at his rectum. Then he will be allowed to place his underwear on (if white), and meet the Houston County Jail rules, and be given an orange jail outfit.
His family will have a prescribed amount of days to pick-up his street clothes or they will be destroyed. He will be booked into the county jail and assigned a jail cell.
The Houston County Circuit Clerk's Office will send sentence transcripts to the Alabama Department of Corrections. They will then have 30 days to pick him up from the Houston County Jail where he will be transported to Kilby Prison for processing.
Once arrival at Kilby, they will once again make him strip naked and bend over, cough and look up his rectum, then put his jail outfit back on.
The defendant is then taken into booking where they get some information, then instructed to strip naked. They stand there naked while everyone is passing by in their routine duties and inmates are in a holding cells. He is then told to move down the line to the shower and take a shower. He will walk butt naked from the shower where he will be given a towel to dry off, but the towel is taken from him.
Still butt naked, in front of everyone passing by, males and females, he will be instructed to walk down to the room where he is issued prison clothing. All the while standing in front of everyone, butt naked with nothing to cover up, with people walking by.
Once his prison clothing is issued normally placed in a holding cell until prison staff gets time to interview, obtain information, and forward that to classification.
The defendant is classified on the offense and not the person. Fisher Shipes has no prior history. He is not a violent person. From all of the information, this was a tragic set of events that took the life of Christian Mullins. Someone described, without objections to, as best friends to Fisher Shipes.
But a reckless, careless event changed many lives forever.
SEEN MANY TIMES
To the Mullins family. I realize this is a tragic event that has destroyed and turned your world completely over.
What I do want to communicate with you is, Fisher Shipes wanted to reach out to you immediately after this happened.
The reason I say this is because over and over again over the decades I have been involved in the system, I have heard people ask. And their attorney tells them no.
Fisher is one of these who hates himself for what happened that night. But his attorney would not let him reach out to you.
Not asking for mercy, but to (1) apologize for what happened, and (2) ask you to please forgive him.
In Fisher's case, as other's I have seen, victim's families say - they never contacted and apologized, and asked for us to forgive him.
Fisher Shipes wanted to but the attorney would not allow him.
And you never know what reception one would encounter.
I SAY THAT BECAUSE... today Fisher Shipes said "I deserve to be punished". This is said because Fisher Shipes entered a guilty plea in a case that would been difficut to convict on manslaughter but Criminally Negligent Homicide would probably been what he would have been convicted of, which carries less of a penalty.
The above does not ease your pain. But you deserve to know, FISHER SHIPES in his heart wanted to tell you he was sorry. He loved Christian.