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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago

Toledo man guilty in robbery that resulted in slaying

Quandre Eugene  Willingham. Quandre Eugene Willingham.
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With plans to steal drugs and money from a Ravine Park Village apartment, Quandre Willingham forced his way in through the door armed with a gun, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor said.

Willingham, 22, of 1016 Baker St. was found guilty in common pleas court after entering a plea for his role in the Nov. 10 robbery that resulted in the shooting death that night of Raynail Gaiter, 31. He pleaded no contest Tuesday to one count each of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, felonious assault with a gun specification, and having a weapon as a felon. Willingham faces up to 36 years in prison when sentenced May 1.

Assistant Prosecutor Andy Lastra said that Willingham and co-defendants Reynard Lewis and Samojay Edwards approached Mr. Gaiter's apartment, where he and Mr. Lewis forced their way inside.

"When Quandre Willingham forced his way into the residence, he had in his possession a handgun, specifically a 40-caliber Glock," Mr. Lastra said. "He used the gun to strike Mr. Gaiter in the head and in the process, the gun discharged into the wall."

The men demanded property of Mr. Gaiter and another man, Sotero Thompson, inside, Mr. Lastra said. During the robbery, Mr. Thompson was shot in the abdomen and Mr. Gaiter in the head. Mr. Lastra said that shooter was Mr. Lewis.

The men left with drugs, cash, and a gun, he added.

Judge Frederick McDonald cautioned Willingham that per the three-page written agreement, the plea would be null and void if he didn't comply with the requirement to cooperate. The judge noted that Willingham was not accused of shooting the gun that caused Mr. Gaiter's death.

Also charged for involvement in Mr. Gaiter's death are Mr. Lewis, 20, of 3815 Revere Dr., Mr. Edwards, 19, of 1123 Noble St., Kurt Finley, 19, of 220 E. Pearl St., Darrick E. Newsome, 18, of 911 Alvison Rd., and Kevin Arnold, 22, of 55 Poplar St.

Finley, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. New- some are also charged in the Nov. 7 death of Darnell Town­send-Tall, who was robbed of cash and shot twice in the head in front of his North Toledo home.

Last month, Finley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery, both with a one-year gun specification for his role in Mr. Townsend-Tall's death.

While pleading in that case, he admitted, as part of his plea agreement, his involvement in Mr. Gaiter's death.

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

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