COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – One of five people indicted in a drug robbery plot turned deadly has now plead guilty for his involvement, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio announced Wednesday.
Kyle Castle, 29, could see a potential sentence of life in prison. He went to trial for the following charges:
- Murder in relation to a drug trafficking crime
- Murder in connection with a violent crime
- Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance
- Interference with commerce by robbery
Castle originally pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. However, court documents showed he later took a plea deal specifically for the charges of murder in connection with a violent crime and interference with commerce by robbery.
Castle — armed with a handgun — went with four other people in 2018 to rob a local drug dealer of cash and marijuana at his home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. When they went inside the house, someone in the group shot and killed Connor Reynolds, 23, with an AK-47 rifle. The group also shot multiple dogs before escaping with 20 to 30 pounds of marijuana.
The murders continued beyond the original robbery, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Investigators later found a couple — Henry Watson, 52, and Tera Pennington, 48, buried in concrete and dismembered in a Hilltop residence in 2021. Court documents said another suspect in the case, Larry J. Williams, killed them in 2018 to prevent Watson from telling police about Reynold’s murder, and to stop Pennington from serving as a witness in the case.
In total, 13 people face federal charges for their involvement in the murders or the cover-up that saw the couple buried in concrete. While the U.S. Attorney’s Office didn’t name eight of them, the five indicted in the robbery all have a laundry list of charges:
|Larry J. Williams, Jr.||40||– Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances- Murder related to drug trafficking crime- Robbery- Murder related to crime of violence (3 counts)- Conspiracy to destroy evidence- Murder of a witness (2 counts)- Obstruction of justice- Conspiracy to obstruct justice- Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin- Possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin (2 counts)- Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime- Possession with intent to distribute fentanyl- Distribution of cocaine|
|Kyle Castle||29||Pleaded guilty to robbery, murder related to crime of violence|
|Jesse Climer||30||– Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances- Murder related to drug trafficking crime- Robbery- Murder related to crime of violence|
|Brian Muncy||23||– Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances- Robbery|
|Durone Ellis||34||– Conspiracy to obstruct justice- Possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin|
Williams, who faces the most charges and was directly named as involved in Watson and Pennington’s murders, could face the death penalty if convicted.