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Published: Tuesday, 1/8/2013

Man enters Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

When Vicktron Moore met a hooded figure on a dark street in May, what started out as a drug deal resulted in his shooting death, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor said.

Damar Smith, 18, of 909 Vance St., entered an Alford plea today to involuntary manslaughter with a one-year gun specification. He faces up to 12 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 22.

“Vicktron Moore and the defendant were in the process of engaging in a drug transaction for pills,” Assistant Prosecutor Andy Lastra said in court. “During that exchange, something went horribly wrong although the details are not known.”

Smith, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was in June certified in Juvenile Court to stand trial as an adult. In addition to charges that he killed Moore, 30, he was accused of injuring Terrance Cohen, 37.

Mr. Lastra said that Cohen was with Moore in the vehicle on a rainy night when Moore was trying to meet up with someone. Cohen later said that Moore pulled the car up to a person with whom it appeared Moore just had been speaking on a cell phone. That man, Mr. Lastra said, came up to the car and, after a brief conversation, pulled out a gun and fired. Moore was shot in the head and Cohen was shot in the shoulder.

Because the gunman was wearing a dark sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, Cohen was unable to positively identify the suspect, Mr. Lastra said.

In response to questions by Judge Frederick McDonald as to why Smith was identified as the suspect, Mr. Lastra said the phone found in Moore’s lap showed a phone number linked to a phone used by Smith.

Mr. Lastra added that during a lengthy interview, Smith "specifically admitted to detectives that it should not have happened this way and asked them to pray with him.”

Smith was originally charged with murder and two counts of felonious assault, both with gun specifications. Mr. Lastra said after the hearing that the “circumstantial” evidence in the case resulted in a plea being offered.

Attorney David Klucas deferred comment until after sentencing. Smith said little during the plea but told family members as he was taken from the court: “I’m coming home in 12 years.”

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



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