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Published: Friday, 9/30/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Landlord gets six months in jail, community control in carbon monoxide deaths

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Landlord Steven Snow, left, appears with attorney Scott Schwab for sentencing Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Landlord Steven Snow, left, appears with attorney Scott Schwab for sentencing Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
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A Toledo man who placed a gas-powered generator in a home that resulted in the deaths of four people was placed on community control Friday, including six months in custody.

Steven Snow, 50, of 310 South Ave., was found guilty last month to four counts of reckless homicide. Friday, Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Cook sentenced him to three years community control, including six months in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio and 1,000 hours of community service.

The judge ordered that the majority of his community service hours should be spent in homeless shelters “and assisting disadvantaged people.”

Snow was also ordered not to have any contact with the victims’ family.

Snow was found guilty of running a gas-powered generator in the Hamilton Street house where Tamara McDaniel and three of her children were staying after being evicted from their previous home. The generator was used to power electric space heaters in the living room where the family went to sleep March 22 and never woke up.

Ms. McDaniel, 39; her son, Damien Reyes, 18, and daughters, Domonique Reyes, 16, and Taralynn Wood, 10, all died from acute carbon monoxide poisoning in the incident.

Patrick LaCourse cries as he delivers a victim impact statement during the sentencing of Steven Snow, who was convicted in the carbon-monoxide poisoning deaths of Tamara McDaniel and three of her children. Patrick LaCourse cries as he delivers a victim impact statement during the sentencing of Steven Snow, who was convicted in the carbon-monoxide poisoning deaths of Tamara McDaniel and three of her children.
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In a lengthy statement, often spoken directly to the victims’ tearful family members, Judge Cook outlined the facts of the case. She noted that although Snow’s actions resulted in a devastating situation, “he meant no harm.”

“Mr. Snow thought he was helping,” the judge said, noting that his decision that day was “misguided and deadly.”

Authorities said Snow, who had known Ms. McDaniel for some time, brought the generator to the house on the evening of March 22 and purchased gasoline to power it after Ms. McDaniel sent him several text messages telling him they were cold.

Snow told investigators he placed the generator in the kitchen close to the stairwell thinking the fumes would vent upstairs.

The judge noted that not only Snow but Ms. McDaniel as well appeared to have disregarded the warning labels on the machine.

Snow, who wiped tears from his eyes while listening to the judge speak, asked for forgiveness from the victims’ family. He said he was simply trying to “help a friend” and noted that he, too, was “scarred” from the result.

“I didn’t mean for any of this to happen,” he said.

Three family members spoke in court on behalf of the victims. Although acknowledging that Snow should not spend an extended period of time behind bars, the family asked that he receive some prison time.

Steven Snow wipes away tears during his sentencing by Judge Stacy Cook. Steven Snow wipes away tears during his sentencing by Judge Stacy Cook.
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“I guess I’d like to see Mr. Snow miss a few milestones, milestones like the ones we missed,” said Ms. McDaniel’s niece, Samantha.

The family declined to comment after the sentencing.

Because of changes in the state sentencing law that went into effect Friday, reckless homicide, which used to be punishable by up to five years in prison, is now punishable by up to three years in prison. Judge Cook warned Snow that he would spend two years in prison if he violated conditions of his community control.

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



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