Chardon ‘Bev’ Shooter Gets Lengthy Prison Term
October 8, 2021 by Staff Report

Almost a year to the day, Stephen Corey was convicted of shooting a Chardon man four times in a bar fight at Chardon Tavern and Grill, known locally as the “Bev."

Almost a year to the day, Stephen Corey was convicted of shooting a Chardon man four times in a bar fight at Chardon Tavern and Grill, known locally as the “Bev.”

Corey, 31, of Palmerston Drive in Mentor, was convicted July 20, 2021, of attempted murder, two counts of assault and tampering with evidence, all felonies.

On Sept. 27, Corey learned his fate, as Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Paschke sentenced him to 15 1/2 to 20 1/2 years in prison.

Corey was found not guilty of attempted aggravated murder, which meant the jury did not find premeditation.

However, the jury also found Corey guilty of gun and forfeiture specifications, which added mandatory prison time to the sentencing.

The trial, in front of Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Paschke, started July 13. Jurors also visited the crime scene before handing down their verdict.

Almost 20 total witnesses testified, including the victim, Matt Burns, and Corey.

Burns was shot four times July 28, 2020, in the knee, calf, foot and right collar bone, respectively, Chardon police said.

Defense attorney Jay Crook had argued that Corey acted in self-defense in the late night fight that happened at the bar’s back parking lot.

The fight broke out at 1:57 a.m. and Burns was said to be diffusing a “heated situation” when Corey retrieved his gun, a Glock 17 9mm, and fired 12 shots.

Burns was transported to University Hospital Geauga Medical Center and later was flown by medical helicopter to University Hospitals in Cleveland, police said.

Police said Corey had fled the scene following the shooting, but was apprehended a short distance from the scene.

Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz said recent updates to Ohio law have made cases like this one harder for prosecutors.

“Because of the changes in the self-defense laws, they eliminated the duty to retreat, they are incredibly hard for prosecutors,” Flaiz said. “We are very please the jury looked at the evidence and decided in favor of the state.”