On the day he was set to go to trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, a Toledo man instead entered an Alford plea to a charge of murder with a firearms specification in the Sept. 8 shooting death of Nicholas Linke.
Tyler Watson, 23, of 252 Hudson St., was then found guilty and sentenced to 18 years to life in prison by Judge Gary Cook.
Although Watson denied he was the shooter, he was convicted of fatally shooting Mr. Linke, 20, while the two were seated in the victim’s pickup truck in front of a carryout in the 800 block of Buckeye Street in north Toledo. Tim Braun, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said Mr. Linke was selling Watson a small amount of marijuana when he was shot in the side.
Watson said in court that Mr. Braun was lying, and Judge Cook repeatedly told him he was not obligated to enter into a plea agreement but could have his case heard by a jury. Watson ultimately decided to enter an Alford plea, which means he did not admit to committing the crime, but acknowledged evidence was sufficient for a conviction. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors asked the court to dismiss additional counts of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery in the case.