Shipp sentenced to life in prison for killing deputy

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He pled guilty to murder of Deputy Anthony Rakes in 2012

By Stephen Lega

 Dewayne Shipp has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Rakes.


Shipp, 50, of McDaniels pled guilty to Rakes' murder in December. At that time, the Commonwealth's Attorney recommended life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Marion Circuit Judge Dan Kelly formally sentenced Shipp to life without parole on Thursday. Shipp was also give 10 years for possession of a handgun by a convicted felon to be served consecutively to his murder sentence.

Before the sentencing, Kelly asked if Shipp or his attorney wanted to say anything. They did not.

Rakes' sisters Anita Elder and Regina Ewing did have some comments for Shipp, however.

"Why didn't you give my brother a chance to help you? He would have gotten you the help that you needed," Ewing said.

She asked why Shipp shot her brother twice and if Shipp thought he deserved to live the rest of his life in prison.

"You took away our only brother. We don't get to see him in person," Ewing said. "We have to look at a picture or go out to the cemetery."

She added that Rakes was a proud uncle of a niece and nephew. She also said her daughter is autistic and she doesn't understand why her uncle doesn't visit her any more.

"All she has is a picture on the wall that she looks at every day. Look what you took away from her," Ewing said, fighting through tears.

Elder opened her remarks by showing the judge and Shipp a photo of Rakes. She asked Shipp how he would feel if someone took the life of his brother or son.

"You'd probably be angry like we are," Elder said.

She added that Rakes was on his way home from work when he saw Shipp by the side of the road. Rakes stopped to see if Shipp was OK.

"And you had to shoot him. Why?" Elder asked.

She said that Rakes was 31 years old and a great brother. She said as a child he dreamed of becoming a police officer, which he became. Then he wanted to be a deputy, and he did that, too.

And some day, he wanted to become sheriff.

"You took that dream away from him," Elder said.

She added that her brother would have helped Shipp any way he could have if only he'd been given the chance.

"I hope you realize you have changed my family and this community forever. Why did you shoot Anthony?" Elder said.

She said that Shipp shot her brother twice and then drove off, leaving him to die.

"When Anthony called out, 'Shot fired. Shots fired,' you could hear the pain in his voice. He suffered. You should have to listen to that, his voice, every day for the rest of your life," Elder said.

She added that Shipp cut out her heart by killing her only brother. She also said she doesn't think it is fair that Shipp will still be able to talk to his loved ones.

"What I would give to hear [Rakes'] voice again, to tell him how much I love him, to give him one more hug," Elder said.

Elder also told Shipp that she hopes he asks God for forgiveness for what he has done. She said she knows that Rakes is in heaven and that she will see him again some day.

Rakes is her true hero, and he will always be remembered, she said.

"I hope that some day through God's help that I can forgive you," Elder said to Shipp. "But not now. You have destroyed my life forever."

The shooting

On Nov 14, 2012, Shipp stopped the vehicle he was driving on Danville Highway just outside of Lebanon. Rakes was on his way home at the end of his shift when he pulled over to check on the vehicle.

Shortly after exiting his patrol car, Rakes reported on his radio that shots had been fired. He was taken to Spring View Hospital, where he died in surgery as a result of gunshots to the abdomen and upper torso.

Shipp was arrested behind McDonald's in Campbellsville by officers with the Kentucky State Police and the Campbellsville Police Department. Shipp was initially transported to Taylor County Hospital and then to University Hospital in Louisville, where he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg, according to Kentucky State Police.

Shipp has been in custody at the Kentucky State Reformatory since his arrest.

After Thursday's sentencing, Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Clements said there was some relief knowing that those who loved Rakes would not have to sit through repeated trials. He knows that the appeals process in a death penalty case can drag on for years.

"It was a clear cut case of murder," Clements said.