A Dothan man was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday morning following his guilty plea of manslaughter in the 2018 shooting death of his friend at a party.
Houston County Circuit Judge Butch Binford sentenced Fisher Corbin Shipes, 20, who was arrested May 19, 2018 in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Christian Mullins. A Houston County grand jury indicted Shipes in September 2018.
In January 2019, Shipes was denied youthful offender. In October 2019, he pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter.
During Shipes’ sentencing hearing, multiple friends and family members addressed the court, including Mullins’ father, Perry Boin.
“This is devastating,” Boin said. “His mother and I don’t sleep. We break down and cry for no reason all the time. I just can’t say how devastating this is. The family is asking the court to give the maximum sentence today. Christian got the maximum sentence, and we request the same.”
Shipes’ defense attorney Willis Ellis informed the court his client would also like to address the court.
“I just want to express my remorse to Christian’s family, especially his mother,” Shipes said. “He was my best friend, and it is hard to live without Christian. I deserve to be punished for what happened, and I accept that.”
State attorney Seth Brooks requested the maximum sentencing of 20 years. However, Ellis told the court the shooting was horrible accident and asked the court to have mercy on his client.
“Your honor, if my client is sentenced to the maximum, he could come out being a criminal,” Ellis said. “He is not a criminal. He is stupid kid who made a stupid mistake. He thought he had emptied all the bullets out of the gun, and he did, except the bullet in the chamber. My client and Christian were best friends. This was just a terrible accident. I ask the court to have mercy on my client.”
Before Binford sentenced Shipes, he addressed the fact, Mullins’ body had been brought outside the residence after the shooting. He also addressed the fact that during the 911 call it was reported a black male riding by shot Mullins.
According to Ellis, his client had dragged Mullins’ body outside in efforts of loading him in his own vehicle to transport to him to hospital, but was unable to lift his body. The state believes Mullins was dragged outside to help collaborate the story created to help cover up the shooting.
Before Mullins died, both Mullins and Shipes told law enforcement a black male riding by, shot Mullins.
Police responded shortly before 7 on the night of the shooting to a report of a firearm assault in the 2100 block of Baker Trace and found Mullins with a shotgun wound. It was first reported that Mullins was shot by an unknown assailant with a shotgun. According to police, Shipes fired a shotgun at Mullins from across the room, striking the victim in the abdomen. Police determined alcohol was involved.
Dothan Police Investigator Curtis Stephens previously said several of the people in the home were looking at the firearm before the shooting occurred.
“Several of the teenagers were looking at the gun, but everyone decided to leave the area but Fisher,” Stephens said. “Fisher went back to the area where the other teenagers were located carrying the firearm.”
Stephens said Shipes believed he had properly unloaded the shotgun, but he was not familiar with that type of shotgun, and the gun was not unloaded.
Mullins died later at a local hospital.
After the sentencing hearing, Ellis addressed the fact the shooting occurred at a 16 year-old's home without any adult supervision.
“No adults were present at this home,” Elllis said. “However, an adult did give these kids beer. There is beer in a house with kids, no adults and the home is filled with multiple loaded guns. Why were no charges filed against the homeowner and or who purchased the beer?”
Brooks said he was satisfied with the sentencing even though it was not the maximum sentence.