Toledo man pleads no contest to charge stemming from the shooting


A Toledo man pleaded no contest today to a charge stemming from the shooting of a man outside St. Paul’s Community Center earlier this year.

Houston Hart III, 27, of 2338 Rockspring Rd., was then found guilty by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates of felonious assault with a firearm specification. Hart faces up to eight years in prison for felonious assault and a mandatory three years in prison for the gun specification when he is sentenced Aug. 28.

Mark Herr, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court Hart was working as the head cook at St. Paul’s when he went outside about 9 a.m. April 25 and got into a heated argument with Louis Barton, 39, who had been inside the center briefly that morning.

Some witnesses told police Barton made threats against Hart, who then went to his car and retrieved a gun from the trunk. He shot Barton three times – in the arm, the side, and the neck, Mr. Herr said.

As part of a plea agreement, a charge of attempted murder is to be dismissed at sentencing.