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McCullough sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison

By JOE CENTERS • Updated Nov 22, 2018 at 10:29 AM

A rural New London man was sentenced to 66 months in prison Wednesday morning in Huron County Common Pleas Court for the death of his friend and neighbor.

Trent W. McCullough, most recently of 3741 Prospect Road, was sentenced to 30 months for involuntary manslaughter and 36 months for a gun specification.

The gun specification charge is automatic.

He was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, two charges of violating a protection order and one charge of reckless homicide. Three of the charges are third-degree felonies, which are punishable by nine months to three years in prison. The first four counts carry a firearm specification, which means the defendant, if convicted, would be required to serve three years in prison on top of any other sentence.

McCullough also faces one charge of illegal cultivation of marijuana.

He was not given any time on the marijuana charge.

He was found guilty by a jury.

On Jan. 4, 2017, McCullough called 9-1-1 and reported his friend, George Ely, had suffered an accidental, self-inflicted .45-caliber gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to Huron County sheriff’s deputies’ reports. Sheriff Todd Corbin, shortly after the suspected incident, said after speaking to McCullough, he learned the wound likely wasn’t self-inflicted.

“I actually interviewed Mr. McCullough and during my conversation he was overcome by the grief that his friend was injured,” Corbin said at the time. “He admitted that he didn’t mean to shoot his friend.”

The firearm was recovered from McCullough’s home.

“We were able to canvass the area and recover all the trace evidence, (including) the shell casing,” Corbin said.

Ely’s son, Jason, spoke in court Wednesday.

“Trent was a friend ... but he obviously was reckless and unsafe,” he said. “My father George Ely would have given the shirt off his back for anybody.

“He was my best friend, idol and my savior.”

Then, speaking to to McCullough, he said “I hope you think of my father every day.”

McCullough then spoke.

“I’ll be sorry every day of my life,” he said. “I can’t take it back.”

Huron County Common Pleas Court Judge James Conway, in making the sentence, told McCullough “you have not shown any level of remorse.”

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