Ohio teen pleads guilty in killings of 2 brothers
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An 18-year-old admitted Tuesday that he killed two teenage brothers inside a mobile home they shared with their mothers in northwest Ohio after an argument.
Michael Fay pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder in a Putnam County court and faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced next month.
Fay and the brothers had gotten into an argument and he left the trailer just after midnight May 9, stopping at a fast-food restaurant and then at a storage unit owned by his mother where he retrieved a gun, said Todd Schroeder, an assistant county prosecutor. Both mothers were at work.
Fay returned to the mobile home and shot 14-year-old Blaine Romes in the head while he was sleeping on a couch and then shot Blake Romes, 17, in his bedroom, Schroeder said.
Fay fired the first shot when he heard a train coming down a track directly behind the trailer, Schroeder said. “He waited for the whistle blow,” he said, apparently to mask the sound of the gunshot.
Fay didn’t make a statement during the brief hearing. He had been scheduled to go on trial in November.
Schroeder said he will recommend consecutive life sentences with the chance of parole after he serves 60 years in prison. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped four other charges. Fay could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison with no parole.
Fay had only moved into the trailer just a few weeks before the shootings, Schroeder said.
He and the brothers were named in an Amber Alert in May after the Romes’ mother discovered a gun and blood inside a trailer home where they lived.
The mother frantically called 911 on May 9, telling authorities to “please hurry.”
Authorities at first believed that all three teens had been kidnapped after finding a bloody trail throughout the mobile home to the back door and tire tracks leading away from the trailer.
But only the Romes brothers were found dead.
Blaine was supposed to join his classmates on an eighth-grade class trip to Washington the morning he disappeared. His mother told a 911 dispatcher she left work because he was not answering his phone that morning.
Police found Fay later that afternoon at a gas station in Columbus, about 120 miles southeast of the trailer park in Ottawa.
He told officers that the Romes brothers were dead and pointed authorities to their bodies, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.
The body of the oldest brother was found under the trailer while the body of the younger victim was discovered alongside a road a few miles from the mobile home.