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Published: Thursday, 2/23/2012

Clerk indicted for killing man in robbery

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Lamar Allen, who died allegedly holding the Express Carryout store on Mulberry St. in Toledo. Lamar Allen, who died allegedly holding the Express Carryout store on Mulberry St. in Toledo.
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An employee of a North Toledo convenience store who shot and killed a man attempting to rob him was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury Thursday on a charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Bandar Abu-Karsh, 28, of Moore Street, was charged with the shooting death of Lamar Allen, 25, who died Nov. 21 as the result of multiple gunshot wounds. Allen was with another man when they entered the Express Carryout on Mulberry Street and attempted to rob it.

If convicted of the charge, Mr. Abu-Karsh faces up to 11 years in prison. A summons will be issued for him to appear in court for an arraignment, which has not yet been set.

John Weglian, chief of the special units division of the prosecutor’s office, said that the issue the grand jury had to consider was whether self defense applied to Mr. Abu-Karsh’s actions throughout the entire incident.

“The issue was that although [Mr. Abu-Karsh’s] conduct was initially justified, the grand jury concluded that his subsequent conduct was not in self defense,” he said.

Mr. Weglian declined to comment on the facts of the case or say what conduct was considered not to be self defense.

Mr. Abu-Karsh could not be reached for comment. When reached by phone at the Express Carryout Thursday, owner Mamoun Awwad declined to comment, saying that he “didn’t know anything about it.”

According to police, Allen and an accomplice entered the carryout at about 9:45 a.m. Nov. 21. Once inside, Allen threatened the store clerk and began emptying the register of cash, police added. Allen collapsed after being shot multiple times. His accomplice shot at the clerk several times and fled.

Joseph R. Hunter, 25, of 625 Acklin Ave., has since been arrested for his alleged involvement in incident. He was indicted in January on one count each of involuntary manslaughter, attempt to commit murder, felonious assault, and aggravated robbery, each with gun specifications. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 36 years in prison.

Although he did not pull the trigger that ended Allen’s life, Hunter was charged with his death because a death came about because of the result of his conduct, the prosecutor’s office said.

Police say that Hunter fired shots at the clerk and confronted a customer who did not realize the store was being robbed. Hunter is being charged with alternate counts of attempted murder and felonious assault for the shots fired at the clerk.

Hunter is scheduled to appear before Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Cook for a March 9 pretrial hearing.

Mr. Awad told The Blade at the time of the shooting that the store keeps a 9 mm gun behind the counter for protection. He said then that the clerk was lucky that he was not the one shot in the exchange of gunfire.

A voluntary manslaughter charge is defined as “no person, while under the influence of sudden passion or sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person using deadly force, shall knowingly case the death of another.”

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



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