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Published: Saturday, 7/19/2003

Man receives life term for killing friend

Everyone in the courtroom seemed to agree: Larey Anderson never meant to kill Adrian Solomon.

Nonetheless, he could spend life in prison after Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Wittenberg sentenced him yesterday to life with possibility of parole after 15 years. The judge had no choice in the sentence after a jury found Anderson, 51, of 3021 Parkwood Ave., guilty July 10 of the March 12 murder of Mr. Solomon, 39, of 2242 Maplewood Ave.

“Mr. Solomon and I were close friends,” Anderson said. “I had no intention in the world to take his life.”

Judge Wittenberg said he knew Anderson and Mr. Solomon were friends but evidence supported the murder charge.

The night of the killing, Mr. Solomon and his girlfriend, Shalaunda Jordan, got a ride to Anderson's house for a party. After people at the party drank alcohol and smoked crack and marijuana, Mr. Solomon and Anderson got into a fistfight.

After the fight, which left Anderson with a gash on his forehead, Anderson told Mr. Solomon and Ms. Jordan they would have to leave. As they left Anderson's house, Mr. Solomon protested that he didn't want to walk home because it was cold and he demanded a ride home.

According to various testimony, Anderson closed the door, and Mr. Solomon began yelling at him from outside. At some point, Anderson got a knife from a kitchen drawer and when he opened his door again, he stabbed Mr. Solomon in his upper chest. Mr. Solomon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anderson argued at trial that he had acted in self-defense, motivated by the fear of his recent beating by Mr. Solomon.

In addition to rejecting the self-defense claim, the jury didn't select a lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter that was available to it.

Gary Cook, an assistant county prosecutor, said the fight was trivial and never should have resulted in death. He said while Anderson may not have tried to kill Mr. Solomon, he was responsible for the consequences of the stabbing.

“The stabbing which led to the death was an intentional act,” he said.

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