Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office secures guilty pleas in 2021 mistaken identity shooting

Posted on 11/8/2023

Defendant: Christopher Freeman, Donyea Spruell, Sha’Briana Jenkins

The Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office secured guilty pleas from three defendants involved in the shooting of a woman at an east side parking lot. Christopher Freeman, 30, of Columbus, Donyea Spruell, 21, of Columbus, and Sha’Briana Jenkins, 26, of Reynoldsburg, all admitted to their participation in the shooting. Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Steven Schott and Christopher St. Pierre of the Franklin County Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case. Detective Frank Miller of the Columbus Division of Police played a significant role in helping to secure these guilty pleas.

On May 27, 2021, Freeman and Spruell conspired to kill a rival gang member. Freeman enlisted the help of his girlfriend, Jenkins. She lured the individual to an address near a restaurant, and when a vehicle approached the parking lot, Freeman and Spruell opened fire on the driver, shooting more than 30 rounds. The victim, a woman who was picking up dinner for her children, was unknown to her assailants and not involved in the gang rivalry, but she drove a vehicle identical to the one Jenkins described to Freeman and Spruell. The victim survived 14 gunshot wounds, including two to her heart, but came away with some permanent physical injuries.

Spruell pleaded guilty on Nov. 2 to conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder with a firearm specification and a criminal gang specification. Freeman pleaded guilty on Nov. 6 to conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder with a firearm specification, a criminal gang specification, a repeat violent offender specification, and a violent career criminal specification. Jenkins pleaded guilty in May to felonious assault with a firearm specification. Judge Carl A. Aveni sentenced Freeman to at least 25 years. Spruell was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years, which will run consecutively to a current prison sentence of 15 years for another shooting that took place three months before this crime for a total of 30 to 35 years. Jenkins’ sentencing date is set for January 2024.

“This unimaginable violence has forever scarred a woman who was simply trying to feed her family,” said Anthony Pierson, deputy chief counsel for the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. “A collaborative effort among Columbus police and the Major Crimes Unit did an outstanding job in securing these pleas.”