Despite maintaining his innocence, a central Toledo man was convicted and sentenced Thursday to 22 years in prison for the robbery and shooting death of another man more than a year ago.
Quintin Helm, 21, of 635 E. Hudson St. entered an Alford plea before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery with firearms specifications in connection with the Nov. 30, 2011, death of Tyrone Patterson, Jr., 23, also of Toledo.
In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing a crime, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
Helm told the court he was entering the plea voluntarily, but complained that attorneys who represented him didn’t fight for his defense and witnesses in his case lied. He acknowledged being present when Mr. Patterson was shot but denied being the shooter.
“I’m sorry for whatever life you’ve led up to this point, because it's certainly grew a very, very cold young man,” Judge Cook told Helm before imposing the 22-year sentence.
Brad Smith, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said Helm “and perhaps others” hatched a plan to meet Mr. Patterson to buy some marijuana and then rob him. Helm went to the meeting place with three others, but got out of the car before Mr. Patterson arrived. He approached the victim while walking down Delaware Avenue near Walnut Street and said he was looking for a ride.
Mr. Smith said a short while later, Mr. Patterson approached the car and sold marijuana to the driver. Helm then walked up and again said he was looking for a ride. While there are differing accounts of what happened next, Mr. Smith said, witnesses told investigators Helm demanded money from Mr. Patterson. They said it was Helm who had the gun and fired it, shooting Mr. Patterson in the hand and back.
The victim’s mother, Stephanie Pettaway, said her son was not perfect but “he had the biggest heart of anyone you would meet.” He cared about family, she said.
“Because of the actions of the defendant, the 22 years that he’s complaining about spending in jail was all my son was able to enjoy on this Earth, period,” Ms. Pettaway said.
After Helm said the court was sending a good person to prison, Judge Cook challenged him to prove that while he’s in prison and emerge as a better man.
“You still have a family, you still have time to live, but only if you don’t come out as a thug,” she said.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.