Ohio man pleads guilty to shooting wrong person during meth binge

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A man who targeted the wrong person while sleepless for days during a methamphetamine binge has pleaded guilty to murder in the slaying of a father of eight children and stepchildren.

Sonny Howard, 26, asked the family of Daniel Lee Jones for forgiveness during a court hearing Thursday in Akron, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. Howard’s plea was part of a deal with prosecutors agreed to by Jones’ family.

Summit County Judge Alison McCarty sentenced Howard to life in prison with parole eligibility in 16 years.

Prosecutors said Howard in January 2019 went looking for the man he thought had broken into his apartment and mistakenly shot the 37-year-old Jones, of Wooster, near downtown Akron. Jones’ wife, Kathaleen, said in court her life has been a “disaster” since her husband’s death.

“We lost a husband, a father and my best friend,” she said. “We lost our home. We lost everything.”

Defense attorney John Alexander said Howard had never been in trouble until he began using drugs.

“If it wasn’t for lack of sleep and drugs, I don’t believe this would ever have happened,” Alexander said.