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Published: Wednesday, 4/24/2013

Toledoan pleads guilty to Nov. murder

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The day his case was to have gone to trial, the third of five men charged in the fatal robbery of a South Toledo gym owner pleaded guilty to murder.

Jason Kuhns, 32, of 1416 Beecham St. admitted Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court that he helped plan the robbery of a man believed to be carrying drugs and money. He also admitted the man he and two others robbed — Joseph Lengel, 57, owner of CrossFit Intensity Gym — was not the intended target.

Mr. Lengel was robbed of an iPad as he arrived at the gym on Warehouse Road on Nov. 19. He had neither drugs nor money on him.

Kuhns said in court that on that morning, he and co-defendants Devonte Harris, 19, and Deitrekk Boone, 19, hid behind a trash bin waiting for the victim to arrive. He said Mr. Harris had a shotgun and Mr. Boone had a handgun.

Kuhns said Mr. Harris and Mr. Boone approached Mr. Lengel and shot him during a struggle. The trio then ran back to their car and drove to the Beecham Street residence.

Kuhns faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced May 14 by Judge James Bates. As part of a plea agreement, he also agreed to cooperate in the trials of Mr. Harris and Mr. Boone.

Two other co-defendants — Chad D. Brown, 35, of 839 Walbridge Ave. and Matthew Managhan, 34, of 3417 Anderson Pkwy. — previously pleaded guilty to their roles in planning the heist.

Both are to be sentenced April 30. Mr. Harris of 1326 Gordon St. is to go to trial May 7. Mr. Boone, of 1416 Beecham St. is at-large.



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