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Published: 11/23/2007

Toledo man slain, father hurt in central-city home

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
AND JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Marc L. Draper Ronnie
Draper, Sr. Marc L. Draper Ronnie Draper, Sr.
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A 36-year-old central Toledo man was shot and killed early Thanksgiving morning in the home he shared with his father, authorities said.

He was the second member of his family to be shot and killed. A brother was murdered in 1991.

Marc LaShawn Draper, of 1638 Freeman St., was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. yesterday after police were called to the house six minutes earlier.

Mr. Draper suffered a single gunshot wound to the left side of his head, said Dr. Diane Barnett, a Lucas County deputy coroner, who ordered an autopsy for today.

Dr. Barnett said the death was being investigated as a murder.

Walt Biegala, an investigator with the coroner's office, said Mr. Draper was cooking for Thanksgiving dinner and on the telephone when he was shot.

"We are theorizing someone came to the back door, he opened the door, and was shot and robbed," Mr. Biegala said.

Mr. Draper's father, Ronnie, Sr., 58, who owns the house, was struck on the head during the incident, Mr. Biegala said. The elder Mr. Draper was treated at Toledo Hospital.

Money was strewn about the house, and police recovered a handgun in the backyard, Mr. Biegala said.

Police declined to say if they had a suspect.

Mr. Draper's death follows that of his older brother, Ronnie Draper, Jr., who was 22 when he was found July 25, 1991, under a railroad viaduct at Post and Albion streets with gunshot wounds to the back of the head.

He died two days later in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

"This is tragic, and no one deserved it," their cousin LaWanda Cranon said, explaining that now the oldest and second oldest in a family of four sons have been murdered.

"It's just horrible," she said.

Marc Draper has a 4-year-old son, Marquan Lamar Draper, with Dametria Watts, with whom he lived for several years in the early 2000s, said Ms. Watts' mother, who would not give her name.

Their family was awakened by a phone call about 4 a.m. with the news that Marc was dead, she said, declining to talk further.

Marc Draper had several brushes with the law in the past, authorities said.

In 1996, he was indicted for aggravated drug trafficking. He entered a plea bargain for attempted aggravated drug trafficking.

In 2003, Marc Draper was charged with domestic violence, authorities said.

In 2004, he was charged with drug abuse of a controlled substance.

In February, he was charged with disorderly conduct.

And in May, he was charged with a felony drug trafficking offenses as well as obstructing official business, driving under suspension, failure to display a license, and other driving offenses.

In all, he has been held in the county jail at least nine times in the last 11 years, authorities said.

He always told his jailers he was single and had 12 or 13 years of education.

He sometimes said he was employed in factory or construction work and sometimes said he was unemployed, authorities said.

Ms. Watts' mother said he had been employed at a nursing home at one point.

Neighbors spoke well of both Marc and Ronnie Draper, Sr.

"I'm shocked. Marc was a nice person, good person," said Diane Smith, adding that he often volunteered to help her carry groceries into her home next door.

Anneta Ferreira said Marc was friendly, saying "Hi" to her whenever he saw her.

She said Ronnie, Sr., is a regular church-goer.

The murder of his son, Ronnie, Jr., was not solved until 10 years after it occurred.

In 2001, Christopher A. Early, who was 28 at the time and living in the 1500 block South Reynolds Road, was found guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of murdering Ronnie, Jr., kidnapping, and using a gun during the crimes.

Leonard Wiggins, who was charged in the murder, testified that he lured Ronnie, Jr., to the viaduct expecting Early to beat him. However, Wiggins said Early came from behind and shot Mr. Draper.

Wiggins, 30, of Toledo, said Early was upset because the victim and others burglarized Early's home on Forest Avenue.

Police said the case remained unsolved for many years because police were unable to discredit Early's alibi that he was someplace else the night of the shooting.

But the people who previously backed Early later changed their accounts of what happened that night.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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