Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016
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2 plead guilty to roles in murder

Pair to testify against Ravine Park shooter

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Repeating the account of events they gave on the witness stand last week, two Toledo men pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbing a man who was then shot to death.




Andrew Goetz, 29, of 614 Earl St., and Chaz Jackson, 29, of 1158 Clark St., pleaded guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to robbery for an Oct. 5, 2012, incident in which they confronted Jonathan Morris, 22, in a parking lot at Ravine Park Village. The pair said they believed Mr. Morris had stolen a small bag of cocaine from Goetz’s pocket earlier that night at an East Toledo bar, and they had gone to retrieve it.

While the two originally had been charged with aggravated murder, murder, and aggravated robbery in the case, they agreed to testify against co-defendant Jonathon Johnson during his jury trial on murder charges as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Goetz and Jackson each face up to eight years in prison when they are sentenced Oct. 15 by Judge Frederick McDonald.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Judge McDonald asked them repeatedly if they had been promised anything else for their testimony against Johnson, who was convicted Thursday of murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and carrying a concealed weapon in the case. He is to be sentenced Oct. 22.

Both said they had not been promised anything by police or prosecutors beyond the dismissal of the original charges and accompanying firearms specifications.

Asked to tell the court what they did, Goetz said he’d been at the Bottom Line bar with friends that night when a fight broke out and someone stole the cocaine he had in his pocket. He said he went to Ravine Park Village, where he was given a gun and used it to strike Mr. Morris, who he believed had picked his pocket.

Jackson said he took off Mr. Morris’ pants because he believed the cocaine was in his pocket.

At Johnson’s trial last week, both men testified that it was Johnson who then shot Mr. Morris, although they didn’t know why because they’d gotten what they came for.

Andy Lastra, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said Mr. Morris’ family and the investigating police officers had concurred with the plea agreement.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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