Shipp pleads guilty to deputy’s murder

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Agreement calls for life in prison without parole

By Stephen Lega

Dewayne Shipp has pled guilty to murder of a police officer and to being a felon in possession of a handgun. With his plea, Shipp has admitted to shooting and killing Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Rakes on Nov. 14, 2012.


Shipp, 50, of 83 Webster Way in McDaniels entered his plea as part of an agreement with the Commonwealth’s Attorney on Friday in Marion Circuit Court. Rakes’ sisters, Regina Ewing and Anita Elder, also signed the plea agreement.

According to the agreement, the Commonwealth will recommend life in prison without the possibility of parole for Shipp. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2014.

Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Clements said the agreement means everyone involved will not have to sit through years of appeals.

“The family understands that and they were good with life without the possibility of parole knowing that Mr. Shipp will never get out of prison,” Clements said.

On the day of the shooting, 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 a 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.

Then-Commonweath’s Attorney Tim Coconaugher filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Shipp on Dec. 7, 2012. Commonwealth’s Attorney Shelly Miller offered a plea agreement to Shipp on Nov. 21.

Clements said while the death penalty is legal in Kentucky, many prisoners have been on death row since the 1980s. He added that he thinks Rakes would understand the agreement.

“We took what was best for everybody, I believe, at this point,” Clements said.