A North Toledo carryout employee who shot and killed a man attempting to rob him pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Bandar Abu-Karsh, 28, of Mulberry Street was taken into custody immediately following his arraignment to be booked and fingerprinted. He will then be released under a supervised recognizance bond.
Mr. Abu-Karsh was charged Feb. 23 with the shooting death of Lamar Allen, 25, who died in November 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, Mr. Abu-Karsh faces up to 11 years in prison.
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 been arrested for his alleged involvement in the 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 police say he did not pull the trigger that ended Allen’s life, Hunter was charged with his death because a death came about as a result of his conduct, the prosecutor’s office said.
Hunter is scheduled to appear Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court before Judge Stacy Cook for a pretrial hearing.
Mr. Abu-Karsh’s court-appointed attorney, John McMahon, said in court that his client was not a U.S. citizen and was currently involved in an immigration issue. He added that because of that, Mr. Abu-Karsh did not have his passport.
A husband and stepfather, Mr. Abu-Karsh has lived in the country for the past four and a half years, Mr. McMahon said.
Judge Gary Cook released Mr. Abu-Karsh on a recognizance bond with the order that he report twice weekly and that he surrender his passport if it is returned to him. He then set a March 28 pretrial hearing date.
Members of Allen’s family declined to comment after the hearing as did a friend of Mr. Abu-Karsh. Mr. McMahon said that he was not yet familiar with the details of the case and so declined to comment.