Though he claimed he shot two men in self-defense, an East Toledo man pleaded guilty Thursday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to involuntary manslaughter.
Danny Kendzierski, 34, of 7 Maygar St., was then sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Frederick McDonald for the Dec. 14 shooting death of Lamine Wilson, 32, of Toledo and the wounding of Kenneth Lee, 27, in East Toledo’s Birmingham neighborhood.
Kendzierski, who had been indicted on charges of murder and felonious assault with gun specifications, told the court he had arranged to buy drugs from Lee but when he got into the back seat of Lee’s car, Lee and Wilson pulled guns on him and told him to empty his pockets.
“I pulled out my weapon and shot both of them,” said Kendzierski, who had a concealed-carry permit.
Wilson, who was in the front passenger seat, died; Lee, who was in the driver’s seat, sustained nonlife- threatening injuries.
“This was certainly a triable self-defense case,” defense attorney Jon Richardson said afterward. “But in the end, the client decides, and Danny thought this was the more prudent course of action.”
Michael Bahner, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said as part of the plea agreement, Kendzierski must cooperate with prosecutors in further investigations and potentially testify in other cases. If he fails to cooperate, the original charges would be reinstated.
Mr. Bahner told the court that Kendzierski had planned to buy $80 to $90 worth of cocaine from Lee. Mr. Bahner said although it wasn’t entirely clear what transpired, investigators concluded that it was “a drug deal gone wrong.”
In accepting his plea and the agreed-upon sentence, Judge McDonald gave Kendzierski credit for 217 days he already has served in the Lucas County jail.
Members of the victims’ families did not attend the hearing.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.
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