JEFFERSONVILLE — A man arrested in July 2019 shortly after fatally shooting his co-worker at a Big O Tires store in Jeffersonville has pleaded guilty in court to voluntary manslaughter.
Bobby Powell, 20, was arrested July 10, 2019 at his workplace on Allison Lane, still near the scene of where he had shot James Winters Jr. who also worked there. He was initially charged with murder, a level 3 felony for aggravated battery, a level 5 felony for carrying a handgun within 500 feet of a school and a class B misdemeanor for possession of marijuana.
More charges were added that October — a level 6 felony for possession of a controlled substance and a class C misdemeanor for possession of paraphernalia.
In late October of this year, Powell’s attorney filed a plea agreement, which Powell appeared for Monday via Zoom in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4.
Per the agreement, Powell pleaded guilty to an amended charge of a level 2 felony for voluntary manslaughter for acting in “a sudden heat” and shooting Winters that day. He confirmed that he had shot the victim as Winters, who police say was unarmed, was running toward him after having threatened him earlier in the day.
He also pleaded to a level 5 felony for carrying a handgun without a license. Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael accepted the plea Monday; the remaining charges are to be dismissed
The agreement stipulates that the voluntary manslaughter charge would carry the mid-range of 17 and-a-half years, with 10 executed and the remainder to be served on probation. The level 5 charge would carry three years to be served concurrently with the first charge and lists that Powell would serve the first seven years of his sentence in prison with the last three years on home incarceration, if approved.
If he had been convicted of the original murder charge, Powell could have been sentenced to 45 to 65 years for that charge alone.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Jan. 11.