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Published: Friday, 4/1/2011

Man charged in East Toledo death pleads to robbery

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Alexander Osley Alexander Osley
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Alexander Osley was in the Main Street Exchange resale store and heard the shots that ended William Carswell's life, but he was not the man who pulled the trigger, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor said Thursday.

Through a negotiated plea agreement, Osley will testify against the man who did, Assistant Prosecutor Andy Lastra said.

Osley, 26, of 402 Daniels Ave., entered an Alford plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Thursday to an amended count of robbery. He originally was charged with alternate counts of aggravated murder, murder, and aggravated robbery, each with gun specifications, Osley was one of two men accused of the Dec. 11 slaying of the East Toledo shop owner. Also charged in the case is Osley's cousin, Luis Osley.

As part of the plea, Judge Ruth Ann Franks agreed to a negotiated sentence of prison time not to exceed six years and set an April 25 trial date. Osley was required to make a statement of what occurred the day of the homicide and will testify at his co-defendant's trial.

Mr. Carswell, 53, who was legally blind, was shot three times and found in the back room of Main Street Exchange, his family's resale shop. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest that pierced his heart, Mr. Lastra said Thursday.

Before the shooting, several people saw the cousins in the shop where Luis Osley and Mr. Carswell were negotiating the purchase of a television. Mr. Lastra said just after 4 p.m., Luis Osley either followed or forced the store owner into a back room with a handgun. Soon after, Mr. Carswell was shot, he said.

"The evidence would show that at the time [Osley] was in the store with Luis Osley, he knew that there was going to be trouble, at least at a minimum a robbery," Mr. Lastra said.

In an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his innocence or does not admit he committed a crime, but acknowledges sufficient evidence exists for a conviction. The court treats it as a guilty plea.

Police recovered shell casings from the crime after the fact in a sewer where the cousins dumped them, Mr. Lastra said. The evidence was recovered with Osley's assistance, he added.

The handgun that was used, a 380-caliber semiautomatic, has not been recovered, Mr. Lastra said.

Luis Osley, 26, of 4114 Fairview Dr. is slated to go to trial on charges of aggravated murder, murder, and aggravated robbery on April 11. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

The men are separated in the jail.

Members of Mr. Carswell's family were not in court Thursday.


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