Dennis Hardy

Dennis Hardy

Victim: Ron Edwards + others who were injured

Age at time of murder: 17

Crime location: Hampden County

Crime date: October 31, 1993

Partners in crime: Dennis Hardy, Fred Shinholster, Calvashon Johnson, and Shandell Redd Tabue Smiley

Crimes: Home invasion kidnapping attempted murder, and murder

Weapon: Semiautomatic weapon

Murder method: Gunshots to the back and head

Sentence: Life without parole (LWOP) reduced to 15-life


Hardy and his partners in crime lured Ron to the home of a man named Eric with a fake request to purchase cocaine. They then robbed Ron and forced him and Eric to walk to Ron’s house at gunpoint. There, Hardy murdered Ron and attempted to murder his friend June by shooting her in several parts of her body, including the belly, even though she told him she was pregnant. He also attempted to murder Eric.



On the evening of October 31, 1993, the defendant and several others, including Fred Shinholster, met and, after discussing various criminal ventures, agreed on a plan to rob brothers Ron and Oliver Edwards. The group decided to use guns to force their intended victims to hand over money and drugs, and to divide the spoils among themselves.

The group was unsuccessful in locating Ron Edwards. Carrying guns and wearing Halloween costumes to disguise their appearance, the defendant and four others, again including Shinholster, then proceeded to the house of Eric Williams, through whom Oliver Edwards sold drugs. Williams paged Edwards when the group told Williams they wanted to purchase cocaine. When Edwards arrived at the home of Williams to deliver the cocaine, the defendant and one other robbed him. The defendant and his accomplices then walked Edwards and Williams back to Edwards’s house at gunpoint in order to force Edwards to hand over whatever drugs and money were there.

Inside Edwards’s house, the defendant, holding a semiautomatic gun, forced Williams into a closet, and demanded that Edwards and his friend, June Johnson, who had been sitting in the living room when they arrived, reveal the location of any drugs in the house. Edwards at first denied that there were any such drugs, but then told the defendant there were drugs in the basement. The defendant forced Edwards to the basement, and there shot him in the back with the semiautomatic weapon. The defendant returned upstairs, where Johnson had remained with one of the accomplices pointing a gun at her. Johnson pleaded with the defendant not to shoot her, telling him that she was pregnant, whereupon the defendant shot her in the stomach. The defendant returned to the basement, where he ordered one of the accomplices to shoot Edwards. As Edwards lay screaming on the floor, the defendant then put his gun to Edwards’s head and shot him. Edwards died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The defendant returned upstairs and opened the closet where he had imprisoned Williams. Saying, “It’s time for you to die,” the defendant shot Williams in the face. Williams pretended to be dead and the defendant closed the closet door. Another bullet was then fired through the closet door and into Williams’s back. The defendant returned to Johnson, who was trying to call the police, and shot her in the mouth, both arms, and the leg. Both Johnson and Williams survived. Later that evening the defendant told Shinholster that when he was standing over Edwards, all the defendant could think of was “how Oliver wouldn’t sell him no cocaine because of his ‘rep’ “; the defendant then stated that he had shot Edwards.