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Published: Saturday, 3/17/2001

Life sentence given in '95 shooting death


Calling Marcus Anderson a dangerous man, Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Wittenberg sentenced him yesterday to life in prison.

Anderson, who was 16 when he killed William Peace in 1995, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years for aggravated murder. It was the maximum penalty available.

Judge Wittenberg additionally sentenced Anderson to seven to 25 years for the aggravated robbery of Mr. Peace, and three years for using a gun during the crime. Those sentences will be served in addition to the murder sentence.

Before the sentence was imposed, Gary Cook, an assistant county prosecutor, said Anderson has shown he doesn't deserve to move about freely in society. Anderson is serving a six-year sentence for an unrelated aggravated burglary charge.

“The only freedom of choice Mr. Anderson should have from now on is if he wants gravy on his mashed potatoes,” Mr. Cook said.

Last week, a jury found Anderson, 21, formerly of the 1100 block of Indiana Avenue, guilty of killing Mr. Peace during what police think could have been a crack cocaine deal that went bad.

On Nov. 5, 1995, Peace was shot at close range by a shotgun, which Mr. Cook said left a baseball-sized wound. Peace was found slumped over the wheel of his pickup truck in the 300 block of Suder Avenue.

Judge Wittenberg said Mr. Peace's murder was unnecessary.

“The robbery could have been accomplished and that would have been the end of it,” Judge Wittenberg said. “Instead, the defendant chose to shoot the victim.”

During the trial, Mr. Cook said Anderson bragged about the shooting, which led to his arrest five years after the crime.

One of Mr. Peace's brothers, Tony Peace, spoke on behalf of his family and asked for the maximum sentence. He said the death of his brother, who did construction and carpentry work, left a void.

“We think about the horrible way he died - the things that could have been and never will be again,” Tony Peace said.

Anderson, who engaged in a staring match with some of the Peace family before the hearing, sent a mixed message before he was sentenced. He initially apologized to the Peaces and his family, but then turned around and protested his innocence.

“If Mr. Peace was here, he'd tell you I'm not the one,” he said.

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