WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Detroit man was sentenced Thursday afternoon for his role in the gunning down of a man in the middle of Warren’s business district nearly 18 months ago.
Derrick Peete, who originally was charged with aggravated murder, accepted a plea deal on a lesser charge of murder. He also pleaded guilty to five other charges.
Prosecutors said Peete shot hundreds of rounds of bullets in a firefight on Elm Street in November 2012. Marco Dukes, 32, was killed.
They said three guns were used in the shooting that day. One of the weapons was an AK-47 they said Peete used to kill Dukes. Prosecutors believe Dukes returned fire and a third suspect who fired at Dukes may still be out there.
“This case was extremely difficult from an evidentiary standpoint. That’s the reason for the plea today,” said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.
Dale Hatch, whose gun jammed during the shootout, agreed to a plea deal last month and was expected to testify against Peete. He pleaded guilty to an amended indictment on charges of involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, felonious assault and attempted aggravated murder. He could receive 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.
Kisha Elzy, the mother of two of Dukes’ sons, addressed Peete in court.
“It’s hard for them every day that they don’t have their dad. You murdered him four days after he gave his son a birthday party. So you think about what you did. You hurt a lot of people,” Elzy said.
Peete apologized to the family before the judge sentenced him to 15 years-to-life behind bars.