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Published: Friday, 5/11/2001

Thug faces 40 years after nixing 12-year plea deal

A Toledo man could be imprisoned for 40 years after turning down a plea bargain that called for him to serve a total of 12 years behind bars.

James Purley, 23, of 712 Fernwood Ave., was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates for his involvement in two home-invasion robberies.

The judge ordered that sentence to be served on top of a 10-year sentence he gave Purley in December for an unrelated robbery of a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant in 1998.

Before going to trial on the home-invasion cases, prosecutors offered Purley a deal that called for him to serve two years in prison in addition to the 10 years for the Friday's robbery for a total of 12 years.

Purley turned down the deal, and a jury found him guilty May 3 of two counts of aggravated burglary, two counts each of aggravated robbery and kidnapping, and six counts of using a firearm to commit a crime.

Judge Bates could have sentenced Purley to six to 78 years in prison depending on how he structured the penalties.

He said the shortest prison term would demean the seriousness of the crimes and wouldn't adequately protect the public.

The crimes for which Purley was found guilty earlier this month included two home invasions committed in 1999.

On July 4, 1999, Purley and another man robbed a 71-year-old man of $30,000 after holding him and his wife at gunpoint in their home on Anmarie Court in Oregon, Robert Clark, an assistant county prosecutor, said.

Hassen Abdoney, one of the victims, said after the hearing there was no excuse for Purley's actions.

“I'm just wondering how he would feel if someone committed a crime like this against his father and mother,” said Mr. Abdoney, who Purley struck on the head with his gun during the robbery.

In the second case, Purley and another man stole $800 in travelers checks and $150 in cash from Kenneth and Mary Sawers after breaking into their Reo Street home around midnight Nov. 28, 1999, Mr. Clark said. Purley threatened the Sawerses with a handgun during the robbery.

Purley said yesterday that he “sympathized” with both couples, but he wasn't the person who committed the crimes.



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