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Half brothers sentenced for roles in 2013 murder

Waterville Twp. man killed in home

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    James Allen, 19, appears for sentencing for his role in the shooting death of of James Safadi, 34, before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart, Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

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    Phillip Allen, Jr., 23, left, and his half brother, James Allen, 19, appear before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart for sentencing in the shooting death of James Safadi.

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Half brothers James and Phillip Allen, Jr., offered no apologies and, in Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart’s estimation, showed no remorse for shooting to death James Safadi after breaking into his Waterville Township home last year.

Judge Duhart sentenced both men Wednesday to life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years.

“Mr. [James] Allen, when asked, ‘How do you feel about someone losing his life during this offense?’ your response was, ‘I don’t give a [expletive]. People die every day.’”

Phillip Allen was equally unremorseful when asked how he felt about Mr. Safadi’s death, the judge said. “It hurts because my life was snatched from me,” Phillip Allen said in the court’s pre-sentence interview.

“This court frankly is startled by the level of barbaric actions that Mr. Allen and his half brother have perpetrated in this case,” Judge Duhart said. “It is a reflection of a number of things to include what I would characterize as a cavalier attitude regarding guns and the type of death and destruction they cause.”

James Allen, 19, of 1732 E. Westland Gardens Rd. and Phillip Allen, 23, of 321 O’Connell St. each pleaded guilty Friday to complicity to aggravated murder for the May 18, 2013, shooting death of Mr. Safadi, 34, at his home at 8940 S. River Rd. They broke into the home while the victim and his fiancee were asleep, robbed them at gunpoint, and shot Mr. Safadi three times.

“What you may not know is that the victim in this case was a hard-working individual, had a number of nieces and nephews,” the judge said. “... For what? For what seems to me amounted to a minuscule amount of money — $700 — in exchange for a life.”

Neither Allen spoke when given the chance, and their attorneys simply asked the court to impose the agreed-upon sentence.

Although Mr. Safadi’s fiancee, brother, and father were in court, they did not address the court before sentencing. Afterward, the victim’s brother, George Safadi, issued a statement thanking Lucas County sheriff’s detectives and prosecutors for their work.

“There is no judgment that can be set on these animals that could bring back our family member. The only real judgment will come from God when they are cast into the abyss,” the statement read.

Two co-defendants also have entered guilty pleas.

Ronald Rooker, 33, of 8930 S. River Rd. is to be sentenced June 24 for complicity to involuntary manslaughter, complicity to aggravated robbery, and complicity to aggravated burglary. Rooker said he did not enter Mr. Safadi’s home but recruited the three men to break in and rob his neighbor, a carryout owner who he believed kept large amounts of cash.

Adam Anderson, 20, of 2436 Fulton St. is to be sentenced June 23 for involuntary manslaughter and aggravated burglary after he admitted he was with the Allen brothers on the night in question and held Mr. Safadi’s fiancee at gunpoint but did not shoot her.

As part of their plea agreements, both Allens received concurrent sentences Wednesday for unrelated cases.

James Allen pleaded guilty to felonious assault with a firearms specification for shooting Devante Coleman, 19, in the stomach and leg Nov. 5, 2012 in the 4200 block of Asbury Drive. Judge Duhart sentenced him to 10 years on that offense.

Phillip Allen pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and for having a loaded 9mm handgun Oct. 4 on the porch of a home at Isherwood Avenue and Freeman Street. Judge Michael Goulding sentenced him to 18 months.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: or 419-213-2134.

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