As Bernice Howard sees it, if the man who robbed and killed her son did not intend to harm him, he wouldn’t have put bullets in a gun and taken it with him that night.
“It hurts. It hurts very much,” Ms. Howard, mother of Brian Minley said before her son’s killer, Daquaine Booth, was sentenced Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. “This should not be interpreted as unintentional consequences for Daquaine … There was an intention to kill by putting those bullets in that gun.”
Booth, 26, of 2828 Weber St., pleaded guilty to murder with a firearms specification and was immediately sentenced by Judge Dean Mandros to life in prison with parole eligibility after 18 years.
Booth admitted he went to Mr. Minley’s Berdan Avenue home to rob him Dec. 31 and shot the 24-year-old during the ensuing confrontation. Frank Spryszak, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said Booth and co-defendant Kevin Brooks split a small amount of marijuana Booth stole from Mr. Minley.
Judge Mandros referenced both the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Shipyard Monday and a spray of gunfire that wounded 13 people in a park in Chicago Thursday night before sentencing Booth.
“What is beyond dispute is too many guns end up in the hands of people who are willing to use them in the most violent, senseless way,” the judge said. “Brian Minley died for what? A small amount of drugs. Is that what this is all about?”
Booth declined to make a statement in court.
“He’s very sorry for what occurred,” his attorney, Merle Dech said. “He apologizes to the victim’s family and friends and also to his own family and friends. He has hurt a lot of people through his actions on that day.”
Mr. Spryszak told the court that Booth admitted in an interview with a Toledo Police detective that he was inside Mr. Minley’s house that night.
“His version of the events was that there was an altercation where Mr. Minley saw he had a gun in his waistband and, in his words, rushed him,” Mr. Spryszak said. “A fight ensued and at that point the gun went off and killed Mr. Minley.”
Bernice Howard, mother of Brian Minley, accompanied by Arnisha Gainer, her daughter, right, makes a statement during the sentencing of Daquaine Booth in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on Friday in Toledo. Booth pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr. Minley and was immediately sentenced to life in prison by Judge Dean Mandros. Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Frank Sypryszak is at left.
Two co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to complicity to commit involuntary manslaughter and are to be sentenced Oct. 10.
Ashley Hundstrucker, 23, of 3940 Lockwood Ave., who has a child with Booth, admitted she made arrangements to buy marijuana from Mr. Minley through Facebook then drove Booth and Brooks to his house that night.
Brooks, 23, of 3208 Maple St., admitted he planned to restrain Mr. Minley while Booth robbed him, although he did not end up going inside the house with Booth.
Ms. Howard, standing with her daughter, Arnisha Gaines, said Mr. Minley was “a soft, gentle soul with hopes and dreams of becoming a positive force within this world. He mentored people who he knew and people he didn’t know. He always gave words of encouragement. He loved to make music videos and was an excellent skate boarder.”
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: email@example.com or 419-213-2134.
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