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Published: Tuesday, 8/17/2004

Trial begins in killing of Toledoan

A 19-year-old Toledo man accused in the shooting death of a man during a robbery at an alleged central-city crack house went on trial yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Lamar J. Porter of 2465 Warren St. and two 17-year-old boys are charged in the Feb. 2 murder of Ronald Bryant, 52, who was shot to death in an upstairs bedroom of the home at 2425 Putnam St.

The juveniles, Antuan L. Ray ford of 222 East Weber St. and William Thomas of 931 Islington Ave., were certified in Juvenile Court in March to stand trial as adults on charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery.

J. Christopher Anderson, an as sistant county prosecutor, told the jury in opening statements Mr. Porter and the juveniles all were involved in the robbery, but it was Mr. Porter who pistol-whipped and shot Mr. Bryant.

They planned this and did it together, Mr. Anderson said.

In his opening statement, John Thebes, Mr. Porter s attorney, asked jurors to evaluate carefully the integrity of the co-defendants, who are expected to testify that Mr. Porter was the shooter. This case comes down to trust, Mr. Thebes said. The state s witnesses cannot be trusted.

The trial, which is being heard by Judge James Jensen, is expected to resume today.

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