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Published: 5/12/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Toledo man found guilty in shooting death, store robbery

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

When planning the armed robbery of a local convenience store more than 2 1/2 years ago, Frankie Miles III asked to borrow the handgun of an acquaintance.

And when it became apparent to Terrance King that it was his gun he saw on the television news showing an armed robbery, he became "angry and upset," an assistant Lucas County prosecutor said Wednesday.

"There was a falling out after the robbery and the use of Terrance King's gun caused tension to build to where the defendant shot and killed him," Assistant Prosecutor Tim Braun said.

Miles, 23, who has been in custody since December, 2008, entered an Alford plea (an admittance to the charge, but not to guilt) to voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of King. The Toledo man also pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery with a gun specification for the robbery of the Stop and Go, 5825 Jackman Rd., on Nov. 30, 2008.

When asked why he was pleading guilty to the armed robbery, Miles responded, "Because I'm guilty."

He faces up to 23 years in prison when sentenced May 31 by Judge Dean Mandros, although the judge said he would consider a recommended sentence of a total of 16 years in prison.

The body of King, 23, of 5809 Pickard Drive, Apt. 3 was found Dec. 1, 2008, by a man walking through a field in the 1500 block of Brooke Park Drive. He had been shot three times in the head.

Mr. Braun said Wednesday the chain of events that resulted in King's murder began a few days earlier when four people robbed a local carryout.

Miles and an accomplice, Lera Taylor, entered the Stop and Go carryout armed with guns -- his real, hers a toy version, Mr. Braun said. Outside, at least two others served as lookouts.

While in the store, Miles threatened the clerk with his gun and shot at him once because he wasn't moving quickly enough, Mr. Braun said. The group left with about $250 cash.

Miles and Taylor eventually were arrested and each charged with aggravated robbery with a gun specification. Miles faced an additional charge of felonious assault with a gun specification.

Taylor pleaded no contest to the charge and in May, 2009, was sentenced to seven years in prison. Another accomplice was charged in juvenile court and the fourth was never identified, Mr. Braun said Wednesday.

After the robbery but before his arrest, a conflict evolved between Miles and King, Mr. Braun said. Though it is not known exactly what prompted the dispute, friends told authorities King was upset when he realized Miles had fired his gun during the robbery.

The same gun -- a 32-caliber King owned -- is believed to have been used to kill him, Mr. Braun said. The gun never has been found.

Mr. Braun said Miles confessed to authorities his involvement in the robbery. He added that the case surrounding King's death was "circumstantial."

Defense attorneys Ronnie Wingate and Rebecca West-Estel declined to comment after the hearing.

Miles was initially charged in two separate cases with aggravated murder with a gun specification as well as aggravated robbery and felonious assault with gun specifications. As part of the plea agreement, the voluntary manslaughter case was filed Wednesday and the murder and felonious assault charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

Judge Mandros told Miles if he does not accept the sentence recommended by both the defense and prosecutor's office, Miles would have the ability to withdraw his plea.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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