Piqua man sent to prison for shooting boy

By Melanie Yingst - myingst@civitasmedia.com

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt sentenced the Piqua man who shot an 11-year-old boy to serve 18 months in prison on Monday.

Levi D. Harrison, 21, of Piqua, allegedly shot the 11-year-old victim with one of three stolen guns last December. Police believe the shooting was the result of reckless handling of the stolen firearm. After the victim was shot, he rode his bicycle home and tried to pass his injuries off as a bicycle accident. It was Dayton Children’s Medical Hospital staff who realized the victim had been shot.

As part of a plea agreement with the state, Harrison was charged with one count of attempted aggravated assault and two counts of third-degree theft. The plea agreement was in exchange for the state amending the third-degree assault charge to the fifth-degree attempted aggravated assault and the state dismissing the charge of third-degree tampering with evidence and theft charge.

In other news:

James Benton, 24, address unknown, entered a plea of guilty in a change of plea hearing in Miami County Common Pleas Court with Judge Jeannine Pratt presiding on Monday.

Benton was scheduled to appear for a two-day trial on May 9, but entered a plea of guilty on Monday morning to first-degree felony aggravated burlgary with a gun specification, second-degree felonious assault and conspiracty to commit aggravated burglary. The joint recommendation with the state includes Benton to serve seven years in prison with an agreement to cooperate with state prosecutors and testify against co-defendants in the case.

Benton was one of multiple suspects reportedly involved in the armed robbery of a Union Township home on Sept. 30. During the home invasion, co-defendant Keason Twitty was shot by the homeowner outside of the home on North Montgomery County Line Road. The homeowner called 911 and said a group of men kicked in the door of his house and shot at him. It is believed the home was targeted for narcotics.

The homeowner told deputies he got his own gun and fired back, hitting Twitty in the leg. Twitty was transported by CareFlight for treatment of his injuries.

With the exception of Eric Santos, all co-defendants have entered guilty pleas to various charges related to the incident. Santos’ final pre-trial is set for May 15, with a two-day jury trial set for May 31.


By Melanie Yingst