Cameo nightclub shooter: ‘I am remorseful’

Cameo nightclub shooter: ‘I am remorseful’
Cornell Beckley, 28, took a plea deal Tuesday morning and pleaded guilty to all charges. (Source: FOX19 NOW)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The surviving suspect in the Cameo nightclub shooting that killed two men and wounded 15 other people was sentenced to 19 years in prison Friday.

In a deal with prosecutors, Cornell Beckley, 28, pleaded not guilty last month to charges of involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, having weapons under disability, illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor establishment, tampering with evidence, bribery, obstructing justice.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven gave him credit for time already served, 617 days, just over 1 1/2 years.

Beckley’s lawyer said he appears to be the only person who is taking responsibility for what happened, noting that one of the men who died was his best friend.

“There are many other people who were involved who are at large who are not before the court. ...There are many other people who were involved in this," he told the judge.

“Mr. Beckley, do you have any remorse about this?” the judge asked.

“Yes, sir,” he responded.

“What remorse do you have?”

“I am remorseful that I lost my little brother in this situation. I understand what I did," Beckley said.

His case took longer than anticipated after prosecutors revealed he tried to bribe witnesses not to testify against him.

To date, Beckley is the only surviving suspect charged in the March 26, 2017 shootout at the East End nightclub.

About 800 people were inside when a gunfight broke out during a dispute among several people in two feuding groups from Madisonville and Price Hill, authorities have said.

Two men were fatally shot: O’Bryan Spikes, 27, and Deondre Davis, 29.

Davis and Beckley were charged with murder in Spikes' death.

Spikes died at the club; Davis died days later at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Police also have said they are searching for a third, unidentified suspect.

Investigators believe Beckley fired the first shots after he was punched in a fight.

He stood on the club stage and fired least four shots from a .25 caliber revolver into the crowd, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Davis then fired a .40 caliber Glock at least eight times.

Beckley and Davis were not legally allowed to carry firearms, according to Deters.

Police recovered both guns along with a 9 mm weapon believed to belong to the unidentified third suspect.

The club was supposed to be checking patrons for weapons, but at least three different guns made it inside, Cincinnati police have said.

A gross negligence lawsuit filed last year by Spikes' family accuses club manager Julian Rodgers of created a secretly unsafe atmosphere for patrons by permitting some to bypass security protocols at the entrance and enter without being screened for weapons.

Rodgers extracted an additional cover charge from clubgoers to enter through an alternate side entrance where they were permitted in without weapons, according to the suit.

The suit also alleges the four off-duty Cincinnati police officers who were working security details outside the club and the city also were negligent, accusing the officers of "turning a blind eye" to the side entrance and patrons paying more to get in with weapons.

Cameo Night Cub has a history of gun violence including a shooting inside the club on New Years Day 2015 and a shooting in the parking lot in September of the same year.

Police also were called to the club upwards of 100 times since the beginning of 2016, city documents show.

Rodgers turned his liquor permit over to authorities the day after the shooting.

The club permanently shut down March 31.

It was not clear at the time of the shooting why the liquor license was permitted to remain active at the club, given the high number of calls for service and history of violence

The landlord, The Kellogg Group LLC, failed to terminate its lease with JRODG and/or Cameo despite knowing of repetitive and criminal activity occurring on the premises, or take any reasonable measures to prevent it, the suit alleges.

After the shooting, Rodgers released a statement rejecting claims that people paid to get into the club without being checked.

He remains a prominent Cincinnati nightclub operator and concert promoter, including Migos Jingle Jam concert at U.S. Bank Arena Saturday night.

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