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Published: Saturday, 12/7/2002

Toledoan gets 8 years for shooting bricklayer

Kathy Sharp said the actions of 20-year-old Eugene W. Sanders on May 13 have changed the lives in her family forever.

Sanders shot her brother, Douglas Craft, in the shoulder and chest when he tried to stop Sanders from attacking his daughter.

A bricklayer, Mr. Craft, 40, is paralyzed from the waist down. Ms. Sharp said her brother, who uses a wheelchair, likely will never walk again.

“He will never be able to work in his profession again. He now has to depend on others to take care of him,” Ms. Sharp told Judge Judith Lanzinger.

Sanders, of 2463 Briarwood Lane, was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison by Judge Lanzinger during a hearing in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. He was convicted Oct. 31 of felonious assault and a specification that he used a gun in the crime.

Judge Lanzinger said the shooting could have resulted in a more serious charge had Mr. Craft died. She told Sanders that he eventually will be released from prison and will be able to walk, and that is something Mr. Craft never will be able to do.

“This is more than a mistake. That is not enough to describe what happened,” Judge Lanzinger said.

Prosecutors said Sanders and his girlfriend went to Mr. Craft's house at 1005 Eaton Rd. about 9 p.m. The girlfriend and Mr. Craft's daughter fought. Sanders intervened to help his girlfriend.

Mr. Craft came out the house and saw Sanders assaulting his daughter. He pulled he defendant off her. Sanders then pulled out a handgun and shot Mr. Craft.

Ms. Sharp said her brother has had five operations and spent months in hospitals and rehab.

“This devastating crime has changed Doug's physical status as well as his emotional status. He is not the same person due to the actions of Eugene Sanders,” she said.

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