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Published: Friday, 9/7/2012

Toledoan is sentenced for role in man's death

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Attorney Nicole Khoury speaks with client Devon Daly in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Daly received a 14-year prison sentence Thursday in the death of Rory Hunter. Attorney Nicole Khoury speaks with client Devon Daly in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Daly received a 14-year prison sentence Thursday in the death of Rory Hunter.
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Noting that there is "something horrifically wrong going on out there" that resulted in a shooting death of a man at the hands of two teenagers, a Lucas County common pleas judge sentenced Devon Daly to 14 years in prison.

Daly, who is now 19, was sentenced Thursday to eight years for aggravated robbery, three years for involuntary manslaughter, and three years for a gun specification, all to run consecutive to each other.

Daly and another teen, Jacob Rodriguez, were convicted of the January shooting death of Rory Hunter, 23, whose body was found in an East Toledo field.

"There is just something horrifically wrong in our society for an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old to have access to these types of weapons and to go out and commit a robbery where another young person gets shot," Judge Dean Mandros said. "… Your lawyer is right. It's a sad situation all around."

Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Bahner said the incident began when Daly and Rodriguez sold a gun to Hunter and a friend. Mr. Bahner said the pair apparently felt they were not fairly compensated for the weapon and so devised a plan to lure out Hunter, asking him to participate in a robbery.

Hunter went along with the plan, Mr. Bahner said, but it was created instead to ambush Hunter and retrieve the gun.

Mr. Bahner said Hunter met Daly in an East Toledo field off East Broadway during the early morning hours of Jan. 9.

"There were no lights, no witnesses. It was only the three of them," Mr. Bahner said in court. "At some point it was Mr. Rodriguez's job to jump out and rob Mr. Hunter. Things went terribly wrong.

"What started out as a robbery to retrieve a 22-caliber pistol turned into a senseless murder," he added.

Hunter was shot multiple times, including once in the head, with a 40-caliber semi-automatic pistol, Mr. Bahner said. The gun was later recovered near Rodriguez's home.

It is believed Rodriguez pulled the trigger, but there was no concrete evidence linking him to that role, Mr. Bahner said.

Rodriguez, 16, pleaded no contest Aug. 20 to one count of involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification. He is to be sentenced today by Judge Linda Jennings and faces up to 14 years in prison.

Judge Mandros told Daly that whoever was the shooter, both defendants were responsible for Hunter's death.

"By your admission, you planned the robbery," the judge said. "But for your conduct, it's quite likely Mr. Hunter would be with us today."

Members of the victim's family were not in court.

Attorney Nicole Khoury told Judge Mandros the scenario was sad in that it involved two young men who drink, do drugs, and have guns. "This was two very young, very immature, high, and drunk kids thinking they can go steal back a gun that they already sold, and this is what happens," she said.

Daly said the incident was his fault, and that he should have stopped it from happening.

"I take responsibility for my actions and my involvement," he said.

Daly had pleaded guilty July 20 to one count of involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification and one count each of felonious assault and aggravated robbery. Judge Mandros noted that under the law, the felonious assault merges with the manslaughter sentence.

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



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