Barberton community mourns with families of triple homicide victims

"I want to ask that all seniors that are graduating this year to please contact me via Facebook.  I want to make each one of them a special pin for all the seniors to wear on their robes to take Ashley to graduate with them," said Jennifer Carpenter crying. 
Graduating was one of the accomplishments family members say 18-year-old Ashley Carpenter was looking forward to this year.  But now the family is mourning her life as well as the life of her 14-year-old brother, David Carpenter-Kohler and his father, Ashley's step-father, John Kohler.
All three are now dead following a home invasion in Barberton on New Year's Eve. 
Police said Ashley Carpenter and David Carpenter-Kohler were killed in the shooting last Tuesday.  Authorities pronounced John Kohler dead at 3:45 p.m. Friday, three days later.
A fourth victim, Kohler's girlfriend Ronda Blankenship, was still in the hospital Friday.

A stunned and saddened community stood alongside family members Friday at a vigil held at Lake Anna Park.

Darlena Wise, hurt and upset, told NewChannel5 she knows what the family is going through having lost her own grandson to violence. 
"These were babies," said Wise, "They didn't even get to enjoy life.  It's just sad."
Ashley Carpenter's biological father attended the vigil.
"I just miss my daughter.  I love her very much and the hole in my heart, it will never mend.  It will never mend," said Daniel Stephens.  
Stephens also expressed sorrow for John Kohler's family and girlfriend, and cried for his daughter's mother, who is grieving the murder of her two children, Ashley and David.
"This shouldn't have happened to her at all," said a cousin. 
"Johnny never hurt nobody," said Donna Jarvis.  She told NewsChannel5 she used to change Kohler's diapers as a child.
"He loved his kids and he wouldn't want to live without them.  I just don't see no sense of it," she said.
Ashley and David's mother did not attend the vigil. 
Her cousin, Jennifer Carpenter said, "She just can't do most of this but she wants to let everybody know that she is very thankful for you guys to come out and show her how much you cared for these two children."

The vigil came with comfort for some that arrests were made. 

Barberton Police said two brothers, Eric Hendon, 30, and Michael Hendon, 22, are each charged with three counts of aggravated murder.
When NewsChannel5 went to their Akron address, those who answered quickly closed the door and refused to speak. 
Uriah Williamson told NewsChannel5 she knew something was wrong when she saw police at her neighbor's residence for hours on Thursday.
'I'm saddened by this story because it didn't have to end this way," said Williamson, "...this is a fairly quiet neighborhood, nothing goes on over here so to kind of find out that your neighbor is involved in a murder like that, it kind of shakes you."
Both suspects are being held at the Summit County Jail.
A moment of silence was also held for the victims at the Barberton High School Varsity Basketball game Friday night.


Print this article Back to Top