Slain South Toledo gym owner Joseph Lengel, Jr., was the kind of guy who would have tried to help the very men who ultimately took his life, his widow told the court before two of those responsible were sentenced Tuesday.
Matthew Managhan, 34, of 3417 Anderson Pkwy. and Chad D. Brown, 35, of 839 Walbridge Ave. were each sentenced to 15 years in prison for their parts in planning the Nov. 19 robbery outside CrossFit Intensity Gym on Warehouse Road.
In a statement to the court read by a friend, Diana Lengel said her husband had “made a positive impact on so many people’s lives, and that morning he was opening the gym where he was to inspire those that came, letting them know it wasn’t just the mountain — meaning the things we fear or the obstacles we face — it was all about giving our best, and there was so much more.”
Mr. Lengel, 57, was a humble man, she said, who gave his best to everyone who came to his gym.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates sentenced the pair without comment, giving Managhan an additional 10 months in prison for his conviction on unrelated drug charges.
Both Managhan and Brown had pleaded guilty last month to aggravated robbery and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of felonious assault with a gun specification. Both said they had planned but not participated in what was to have been the robbery of a man carrying drugs and money. Mr. Lengel was not that man, but he was robbed and then shot by three others who carried out the holdup.
Defense attorney Martin Dow said Brown did not even know two of those recruited for the robbery, though Brown admits he was involved with the plan to steal a large quantity of marijuana.
“My client’s statement to the probation officer about ‘Nobody was supposed to get killed or anything like that,’ I think pretty much sums up what was going on,” Mr. Dow said. “Yeah, they were going to go steal the dope, there’s no question about that, but it’s the unfortunate result of what he helped to start that puts him in this position.”
Attorneys for both men told the court their clients had cooperated with police. Sam Kaplan, who represented Managhan, said most of Managhan's run-ins with the law resulted from his “years of drug use, years of drug abuse, and years of drug selling to support his habit.”
Louis Kountouris, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said afterward that Managhan and Brown may not have planned for anyone to be injured or killed in the heist, but they certainly knew that was a possibility.
“They knew there was a danger. They created the danger,” he said.
Two of the three co-defendants investigators allege robbed and shot Mr. Lengel — Devonte Harris, 19, of 1326 Gordon St. and Jason Kuhns, 32, of 1416 Beecham St. — have entered guilty pleas in the case, while a third, Deitrekk Boone, 19, of 1416 Beecham St., has not been arrested. On May 14, Harris is to be sentenced for aggravated murder and Kuhns for murder.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: email@example.com or 419-213-2134.