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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2014

4th man gets 25 years for orchestrating home invasion

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BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Attorney Spiros Cocoves, left, talks with his client, Ronald Rooker, during Rooker’s sentencing Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Rooker was sentenced to 25 years in prison for planning the break-in at the Waterville Township home of his neighbor, James Safadi, that resulted in the death of Mr. Safadi. Attorney Spiros Cocoves, left, talks with his client, Ronald Rooker, during Rooker’s sentencing Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Rooker was sentenced to 25 years in prison for planning the break-in at the Waterville Township home of his neighbor, James Safadi, that resulted in the death of Mr. Safadi.
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Family members of a Waterville Township man who was shot to death during a violent home invasion last May made their final trip to court Tuesday to see the last of four men charged in the case sent to prison.

Ronald Rooker, 33, of 8930 S. River Rd. was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The prison term had been agreed upon when Rooker pleaded guilty May 19 to complicity to involuntary manslaughter, complicity to aggravated burglary, and complicity to aggravated robbery in the May 18, 2013, death of James Safadi, 34.

In a written statement, Mr. Safadi’s family thanked the judge, prosecution team, and police for their work on the case and said they were satisfied with the outcome. They have found solace in knowing their loved-one’‍s killers are going to prison, they said.

“It’s clear to anyone who takes a moment to look at the case that the sentences imposed on three career criminals and destined losers with no societal value versus the loss of a winner who had given so much and had so much more to give that the sentences will never be able to repay the value of the loss,” the family said.

Mr. Safadi was killed when three men broke into his home at 8940 S. River Rd. while he and his fiancee were asleep.

Rooker did not enter the house or take part in the robbery and shooting, but he admitted he recruited the men for the job with the belief that his neighbor kept a large amount of cash in his home. Taken was $700, a cell phone, and a ring.

Phillip Allen, Jr., 23, and his half brother, James Allen, 19, pleaded guilty to complicity to aggravated murder and were sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years. Adam Anderson, 20, was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated burglary.

Rooker said nothing before his sentence was imposed. His attorney, Spiros Cocoves, simply pointed out that Rooker had given a statement about his role in the crime and asked the court to impose the agreed-upon sentence.

Michael Loisel, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said Mr. Safadi’s family attended every hearing involving the four co-defendants and reluctantly agreed to the plea agreement for Rooker.

“Ultimately Mr. Rooker helped put into play the situation that ultimately led to the death of their family member,” Mr. Loisel said.

Judge Duhart told Rooker the same thing he told the Allen brothers and Anderson at their sentencing hearings.

“You’re going to spend a very long time in prison, every year of which this court believes is appropriate,” the judge said. “My hope is that you take that time to think about the harm that you caused to this family.”

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



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