A Dothan man sentenced last month to 14 years in prison after a guilty plea to manslaughter will instead serve 30 months in the custody of the Department of Corrections followed by three years on probation. recently requesting a probation hearing. McGhee noted in his motion that Shipes’ former attorney did not request a probation hearing.
Shipes pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2018 shooting death of his friend, Christian Mullins, 19.
Houston County Judge Butch Binford issued an order Wednesday suspending Shipes’ original prison sentence.
The order says Shipes is given a split sentence.
“I think our judicial system is broken,” said Mullins’ father, Perry Boin. “There are people getting longer prison sentences for animal cruelty and drugs than what he got. One gets 30 months in prison, and one is in the ground forever. Where is the justice in that? Our system is broken.”
A Houston County grand jury indicted Shipes in September 2018. In January 2019, he was denied youthful-offender status. In October 2019, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
According to police, Shipes fired the shotgun at Mullins from across the room, wounding the victim in the abdomen. Police have determined alcohol was involved.
Police responding shortly before 7 p.m. May 21, 2018, to a report of a firearm assault in the 2100 block of Baker Trace found Mullins with a shotgun wound.
It was first reported that Mullins was shot by an unknown assailant. Officers later determined Shipes shot him accidentally.
Dothan police Investigator Curtis Stephens previously told the Dothan Eagle that several people were at the home.
“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 it was still loaded.
Mullins was taken by ambulance to Southeast Alabama Medical Center, where he later died.