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Published: Friday, 7/16/2004

Man gets 12 years for fatal shooting in botched robbery

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A mother of four children yesterday described emphatically to Joseph Wilson what has become of her life since he shot her husband and Wilson's accomplice to death during the botched robbery of a North Toledo carryout.

Toshika Bolden, whose husband, Cranston Baccus, was killed when Wilson accidentally shot the robbery accomplice in the head, told Wilson in Lucas County Common Pleas Court that her children have suffered the most because of his actions.

"You took it upon yourself to end his life. It wasn't right," said Ms. Bolden at a volume that was just shy of yelling.

Wilson, 18, of 3047 1/2 North Erie St., was sentenced yesterday by Judge Ruth Ann Franks to 12 years in pris-

on. He received a mandatory three-year sentence for using a gun in the shooting and nine years for involuntary manslaughter, just one year shy of the maximum for that crime.

Wilson and Baccus intended to rob the Gold Star Market, 2123 Lagrange St., on March 19. Baccus went into the store and pretended he was a customer.

Wearing a black ski mask, Wilson entered the store and announced to the owner that it was a holdup. He grabbed Baccus and put the 32-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun to his head. Seconds later, the gun fired, killing Baccus instantly.

Wilson fled the store empty-handed and went to the home of a Baccus friend where Baccus and Wilson had planned to split the money from the robbery. He changed clothes and left the handgun there.

Police arrested Wilson later that evening after receiving a tip. He then told police about his involvement in the crime.

At Wilson's sentencing, Judge Franks said she received a letter from him in which he said he made a big mistake and wanted a second chance.

But Judge Franks said Wilson put the lives of himself, Baccus, the store owner, and customers in serious jeopardy when he carried a loaded gun into the store to rob it.

"You conscientiously chose the most violent offense of robbery with a firearm. You fired the gun, causing the death of this man," Judge Franks said.

Ms. Bolden gave birth to Baccus' son on June 17. She and Baccus, 30, also had two daughters, ages 9 and 1, and a son, 3. They were married three years, but were together for 15 years.

"Our kids are going to suffer for the rest of their lives," she told Wilson. "My son can't throw a football with his father because he is dead."

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-724-6009.



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