Shooter pleads guilty

Gunman who shot man at car wash in January could serve years in prison
Courtney Astolfi
Mar 22, 2014


The gunman who shot a man at a Perkins Avenue car wash in January 2013 accepted a last-minute plea bargain Friday.

Marcus Campbell, 26, pleaded guilty in Erie County Common Pleas Court to one count each of felonious assault and having a weapon under disability. His sentencing hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 31, when he’ll face a recommended seven years behind bars.

Three shots rang out at a selfserve car wash in the 500 block of W. Perkins Avenue the evening of Jan. 16. One bullet pierced the chest and arm of Bart Carruthers, narrowly missing his heart.

Police later learned the shooting was a set-up.

Carruthers’ stepdaughter, Katie Wilson, 26, lured Carruthers there under the pretense of selling him Xanax, police said. When Campbell and Wilson’s robbery attempt went wrong, Campbell fired three shots at Carruthers before fleeing the area.

Campbell was indicted on charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated robbery and weapons under disability, as well as firearms specifications.

At his hearing Friday, defense attorney Geoff Oglesby and Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter agreed to drop the attempted murder and aggravated robbery charges — along with the firearms specifications — in exchange for a guilty plea on the other charges.    They recommended a sevenyear sentence, although Campbell could ultimately face up to 11 years and $25,000 in fines.

Because Campbell’s probation was revoked when he was arrested for the shooting, he’s currently serving out an unrelated sentence at the Richland Correctional Institution.

He’s slated for release in October 2015 on that charge, and at that point he’ll begin serving his sentence for the car wash shooting.

Before Friday’s hearing, Baxter reached out to Carruthers. He “tacitly” agreed to the bargain, even though he said he’d like to see Campbell get more time, Baxter said.

Carruthers declined the opportunity to appear at the plea hearing.

Said Oglesby of his client: “He is desirous of starting a new chapter in his life. He is pleading guilty because he is”

Campbell has apparently come to terms with the deal. “We came to a common base as far as the recommendation (for sevenyears)” Campbell told Judge Roger Binette.

Following the hearing, Campbell was carted back to the Erie County jail to await his sentencing.

Two other women involved in the incident, Theresa Purcell and Laura Purcell, are still awaiting final court action for their alleged roles in the shooting.


Stop It



Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


butthurt right off the git go?.. dont let it get to you, man. it gets ugly in here. if you ignore it, it may not go away, but you shouldn't give em the satisfaction they want by responding. take it from a troll, dont feed us..

Stop It


Julie R.

So why didn't Binette do what Judge Tone did in the last case ---- why didn't he reject the plea deal given by Baxter and give this guy double the time? After all, he sure would have deserved it.

Also, is it my imagination or is Judge Binette the only one that seems to be handling cases here lately? Don't hear about very many at all from Judge Tone's court and we never hear about any from Beverly McGookey, yet McGookey is a Common Pleas Court Judge in addition to being a Probate Court Judge, isn't she?

One more question ---- how are Judges picked to handle cases? Does the prosecutor choose them or what?

Courtney Astolfi

As I understand it, one judge is assigned to odd case numbers, and one is assigned to even (between judges Tone and Binette). If there are two suspects involved with the same crime, one of those cases is traded so just one judge is handling them both. Binette's just happened to have alot of big cases lately, it seems.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


I really agree!


Spelling police lol a little OCD are we?

Julie R.

Oh, come on already, people. I assume when you work for a newspaper there are deadlines to meet, so wouldn't it be more than a little bit understandable if errors weren't caught? I mean, geez, I've seen misspelled words before in best-seller books. In fact, I use to like picking out the misspelled words and grammar errors in all that crap a bunch of snake attorneys were filing .... and there was plenty, too!


I'm sorry Julie, but your work is supposed to be accurate and professional. Spell check and proof reading are very available. True, we all make mistakes but we are not supposed to make the same mistakes over and over. American intelligence is severely overrated but only by Americans!

Jason Werling

The mistakes have been corrected and the spacing mistakes were not the fault of the reporter. It is a software issue from when our stories are taken from our print software and copied to our online publishing software.

I didn't catch them and it was my mistake.