Kenneth Lee was shot and his brother-in-law killed when the two of them tried to rob an East Toledo man who wanted to buy drugs from them.
On Wednesday, Lee, 28, of 2121 Woodford St. entered an Alford plea to a charge of robbery stemming from the incident that was labeled a drug deal gone bad by prosecutors. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing a crime, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction.
“As it happens so often in drug transactions, guns were drawn, people were shot, and someone died in the process,” Mark Herr, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook.
Killed was Lamine Wilson, 32, who was in the front seat of Lee’s car with him last Dec. 14, when Danny Kendzierski, 34, climbed into the back seat to buy drugs from them.
Kendzierski of 7 Maygar St. told the court in September that Lee and Wilson pulled guns on him and told him to empty his pockets. Kendzierski said he then shot both men in self-defense.
Kendzierski pleaded guilty July 18 to involuntary manslaughter for Wilson’s death. Common Pleas Judge Frederick McDonald sentenced him to five years in prison.
It was after Kendzierski’s case was concluded that a Lucas County grand jury indicted Lee for involuntary manslaughter in his brother-in-law’s death. As part of a plea agreement, that charge is to be dismissed.
While Lee faces up to three years in prison for robbery, the plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend community control at the time of sentencing.
Judge Cook accepted his plea, found him guilty, and set sentencing for Nov. 18.
— Jennifer Feehan