Judge: 1 trial in tot's slaying

3 shooting defendants won't get cases divided

Keshawn Jennings, Antwaine Jones, and James Moore, enter Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Keshawn Jennings, Antwaine Jones, and James Moore, enter Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Three Toledo men charged in the Aug. 9 shootings of two toddlers in the Moody Manor apartment complex will stand trial together.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Frederick McDonald on Thursday denied motions from the three co-defendants – Keshawn Jennings, James Moore, and Antwaine Jones - to have separate jury trials.

Mr. Jennings, 21, of 244 Wasaon St.; James Moore, 21, of 2037 W. Terrace View St., and Antwaine Jones, 19, of 3145 Cottage Ave., each are charged with one count of aggravated murder, murder, and improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation, two counts each of attempt to commit aggravated murder and attempt to commit murder, and four counts of felonious assault, each with gun specifications.

The charges stem from the death of 1-year-old Keondra Hooks and the wounding of her 2-year-old sister, Leondra. Keondra was shot once in the head when at least 12 rounds were fired into an apartment at 2225 Kent St. where she and her sister were sleeping. Leondra was shot in the chest but survived.

Police said they believe the shooters thought they were firing into an apartment claimed by the Manor Boys gang.

Also Thursday, Judge McDonald denied a motion by Mr. Jones and Mr. Jennings to move the trial out of Lucas County.

Paul Geller, an attorney for Mr. Jones, argued that beyond the pre-trial publicity the case had garnered, The Blade’s recent series on gangs in Toledo could potentially “eliminate … a peer group” of his client because residents of gang-infested neighborhoods might fear reprisals if they serve on a jury in the case.

The trial, which has been repeatedly postponed, now is set for June 24.