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Published: Saturday, 11/17/2012

Man sentenced in deaths; 2nd faces up to 30 years

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Lewis was sentenced for the deaths of Darnell Townsend-Tall and Raynail Gaiter. Lewis was sentenced for the deaths of Darnell Townsend-Tall and Raynail Gaiter.
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A Toledo man was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Friday, and another man entered a plea and faces up to 30 years behind bars for robberies last year that resulted in the deaths of two men.

Reynard Lewis, 21, of 3815 Revere Dr. and Darrick Newsome, 19, of 3442 Beaumont Dr. appeared in separate hearings in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Lewis was sentenced for the deaths of Darnell Townsend-Tall and Raynail Gaiter. Newsome entered pleas for his role in the crimes.

Lewis, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder, received a life prison sentence with the chance of parole after 30 years.

Lewis was one of six men arrested for the armed robberies and deaths of the two victims. Police said Lewis and co-defendants Newsome and Kurt Finley went Nov. 7, 2011, to Mr. Townsend-Tall’s home on East Weber Street, where he was robbed of cash and shot twice in the head.

Three days later, Lewis was accompanied by Newsome and Finley as well as co-defendants Quandre Willingham, Samojay Edwards, and Kevin Arnold to Mr. Gaiter’s Ravine Park Village apartment, where three of them forced their way inside.

The men demanded property of Mr. Gaiter and another man, Sotero Thompson. Lewis shot Mr. Thompson in the abdomen and Mr. Gaiter in the head, authorities said.

Four co-defendants have entered pleas for their roles in the robberies of Mr. Townsend-Tall and Mr. Gaiter and await a Nov. 27 sentencing.

Lewis apologized Friday for the slayings, saying he entered a plea “to take responsibility for my actions.”

Also before Judge Zmuda, Newsome entered an Alford plea to a count of involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification and two robbery counts.

He faces up to 30 years at sentencing Nov. 28.

In an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his innocence or does not admit he committed a crime but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction. The court treats it as a guilty plea.

Newsome also entered a plea to the robbery of a man during a drug transaction at Lewis and Eleanor avenues.

The victim was not harmed, but Newsome and Lewis were armed with guns when they stole money from the man, county prosecutors said.



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