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Published: Saturday, 5/17/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Last of 3 accused pleads guilty in deadly 2013 home invasion

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Attorney Sheldon Wittenberg, left, and defendant Levi Jackson stand to enter a guilty plea on charges of aggravated robbery and felonious assault in the 2013 shooting death of Nathaniel Phillips during a robbery at a West Toledo apartment. Attorney Sheldon Wittenberg, left, and defendant Levi Jackson stand to enter a guilty plea on charges of aggravated robbery and felonious assault in the 2013 shooting death of Nathaniel Phillips during a robbery at a West Toledo apartment.
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More than a year after Nathaniel Phillips was shot to death inside a West Toledo apartment, the last of three young men charged in the deadly home invasion pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated robbery and felonious assault in the case.

Levi Jackson, 18, of 352 Oak View Ct. faces up to 19 years in prison when he is sentenced June 4 by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda. As part of a plea agreement, charges of murder, aggravated burglary, and a second count of felonious assault are to be dismissed at sentencing.

Jackson, who was 17 at the time of the offenses, told the court he went to an apartment on Twin Oaks Drive April 29, 2013 with Antonio Taylor, Jr., 20, and Cody Ramsey, 17. He said the Ramsey youth told them they would find drugs and money inside the apartment and drove them there but did not go inside.

Jackson said he did not have a gun but Taylor was armed when they forced their way in that night. When he entered, Jackson said he was confronted by an occupant with a knife.

“He came at me, so I pushed him to the side so he didn’t stab me,” Jackson said.

He said he soon heard Taylor fire shots at Mr. Phillips.

“Antonio shot him — I don’t know how many times, your honor,” he said. “When he shot him, I froze for a second, didn’t know what to do.”

Next, he said, they confronted Michael Kohlhofer, 20, demanding to know where the money was. Taylor shot him in the leg as Mr. Kohlhofer tried to run down the steps, and Jackson said he grabbed the marijuana that was in the bedroom.

Ian English, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court Mr. Phillips died from multiple gunshot wounds, two of which pierced his heart, causing him to bleed internally.

For their parts in the crimes, the Ramsey youth was found delinquent in Lucas County Juvenile Court last year of complicity to robbery and complicity to aggravated robbery and ordered to at least two years in an Ohio Department of Youth Services facility.

Unlike the Ramsey youth, Jackson was certified to stand trial as an adult.

Taylor, of 9641 Oak Shadow Ct., Holland, admitted in court last August that he shot the two victims during the botched robbery.

He pleaded guilty to murder, aggravated burglary, and felonious assault, each with firearms specifications.

While Taylor faces life in prison, he has not been sentenced yet, in part because he had agreed to testify in Jackson’s case.

Judge Zmuda said he planned to sentence Taylor on June 4 as well.

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



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