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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2003

Inmate with gun accused of killing to avenge robbery

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Prentiss Williams, the inmate who recently fired a smuggled gun inside the Lucas County jail, was once a hired killer, court records indicate.

In May, 2002, he was retained for an unknown amount of money in an apparent attempt to even the score for a large drug robbery of his future uncle-in-law, Frank Badgett, according to the records.

But Williams apparently killed the wrong person.

Carmita Dickey, 30, of Goodale Avenue was in a car with Damion Davis, then 28, when Williams and Jonathon Booker allegedly shot them May 25, 2002, near Ottawa Park. Mr. Davis survived; Ms. Dickey did not.

The next day, Booker - who with Williams was charged in Ms. Dickey's slaying - was found shot to death less than a mile away in the 1300 block of Thatcher Drive in West Toledo. Court records indicate Mr. Badgett urged Williams to kill Booker to cover up Ms. Dickey's murder.

Williams, 24, of 2835 Albion St. is charged in the deaths of Ms. Dickey and Booker and two other fatal shootings that occurred when he was 15 years old. Yesterday, during a hearing before Juvenile Court Judge James Ray, Williams was certified to stand trial as an adult in one of the murders he is accused of committing as a teenager.

Mr. Badgett, 35, of Springfield Township and his niece, Shari Manning, 20, of 315 Bassett St. were arraigned yesterday in Toledo Municipal Court for their alleged roles in the murders of Ms. Dickey and Booker. They were charged Tuesday in the crimes.

Mr. Badgett, who is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, is being held in the jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Ms. Manning, who married Williams in the jail last year, is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond on two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

“I'm still blown away by it. I'm never gonna have closure,” said Yolanda Cranon, Ms. Dickey's mother. “I want it all to come out in the open.”

Ms. Cranon said she is glad to see more people have been charged in the death of her only child.

She said she has cried every day since her daughter was killed. “He took away my life,” she said.

Ms. Cranon said her daughter was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I knew she was an innocent victim,” she said. “My child wasn't like that.”

Court records indicate Williams was hired by Mr. Badgett to kill someone after Mr. Badgett was the victim of the drug robbery just before Ms. Dickey's murder.

A witness saw money exchange hands between Mr. Badgett and Williams, according to the records.

The court records do not indicate who the intended target of the revenge shooting was, but they indicate Ms. Dickey was not the person. Booker was then killed by Williams at the urging of Mr. Badgett, according to the records.

County Prosecutor Julia Bates said the charges against Mr. Badgett and Ms. Manning were filed after authorities began investigating the Oct. 14 shooting at the jail.

Williams is accused of firing two shots at a corrections officer while at a maintenance closet on the sixth floor, which is a maximum-security area. No one was hurt.

Marion Paul Crosby, a former jail counselor, was charged with three counts of bribery after he was paid to bring packages, mostly food, to Williams.

One of the deliveries may have contained the gun. Mr. Crosby told authorities he received money on three occasions from a friend of Williams and Ms. Manning.

Yesterday, Williams was certified to stand trial as an adult in the death of Shelley Renee Johnson, 29, of Tecumseh Street.

She was found shot in the head July 28, 1994, inside a sport utility vehicle in the 1500 block of Vance Street.

Last year, he was certified to stand trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in the shooting death of Robert Hendricks, 37, of Spring Street, which occurred two months before Ms. Johnson's slaying.

Mr. Hendricks was found dead May 27, 1994, in a suspected crack house in the 900 block of Nesslewood Avenue.



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