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Former liquor store employee Nicholas Thompson found guilty of selling alcohol to minors

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Judge James Bates immediately sentenced Nicholas Thompson to six months at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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A jury of six women and two men deliberated about two hours today before finding a clerk at a West Toledo liquor store guilty of selling a bottle of vodka to an Ottawa Hills High School student whose friend was killed in a drunken driving crash later the same day.

Nicholas Thompson, 38, of 340 S. Reynolds Rd., was convicted in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of selling or furnishing intoxicating liquor to a minor in connection with the Feb. 1, 2013 transaction at Foxx Liquor, 5341 Dorr St. The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. Judge James Bates immediately sentenced Mr. Thompson to six months at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.

Blake Pappas testified Monday that he went to Foxx Liquor after school with his friends, Michael Geiger and Brian Hoeflinger. Though Mr. Pappas was just 17 at the time, he told the jury he bought a bottle of Belvedere vodka and was not asked to show his ID.

Mr. Hoeflinger, 18, who also was a senior at Ottawa Hills at the time, was killed later that night, leading to an investigation by the Ohio Department of Public Safety of where he got the alcohol he consumed that evening.

Judge Bates ruled prior to the start of the trial that attorneys were not to talk to the jury about the fatal crash, but to focus on the crime at hand: the sale of liquor to a minor.

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