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Jury convicts man; brother flies into rage

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A sheriff s deputy escorts Donnie Ray Hughes out of Lucas County Common Pleas Court after he was convicted.

Wadsworth / Blade Enlarge

The brother of a Toledo man on trial for murder shouted obscenities and then struggled with sheriff's deputies in a Lucas County Common Pleas Courtroom yesterday when the jury verdict was announced.

Bobbie G. Hughes reacted with a string of profanities upon hearing the panel's decision to convict his brother, Donnie Ray, of murder in the shooting death of Kenneth Allen Young.

Court deputies immediately attempted to escort Bobbie G. Hughes from the courtroom, but he resisted when deputies approached.

He continued fighting with the deputies as he was dragged outside, and could be heard arguing with them.

The outburst occurred moments after Judge Jack Zouhary warned spectators that he would not tolerate disruptions in the courtroom, and that anyone who violated the order would be removed.

Bobbie G. Hughes, 42, of 309 Rockingham St., was charged with obstructing official business, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. He was being held last night in the Lucas County jail.

The jury began deliberations early yesterday, and deliberated for about seven hours before reaching the verdict. In addition to murder, the panel also found Donnie Ray Hughes, 44, guilty of a specification that he used a gun to shoot Young.

Young, 23, of Walnut Street, was shot in the driver's seat of a car in the driveway at 325 Rockingham on Nov. 17, 2003. His girlfriend, Tina Everett, who lived at the Rockingham address, testified that she saw Hughes shoot Young at close range while he was in the car.

Ms. Everett heard footsteps outside the home, and went to a bedroom window to investigate. She said she saw her boyfriend quarreling with the defendant and his brother, Kenneth Hughes.

Young was shot once in the chest and head. According to testimony presented at trial, an altercation occurred earlier that day outside the Rockingham location in which words were exchanged between the victim, the defendant, and others.

Young made a reference to Donnie Ray Hughes being an informant, and witnesses said that incensed the defendant. Prosecutors said he returned about 8:40 p.m. that night to confront the victim.

The victim's mother and father, Michelle Young-Tarrant and Jeffrey Moore, held hands and appeared anxious while they waited for the verdict. When it was announced, Ms. Young-Tarrant held a heart-shaped medallion with a photo of her son to her lips and softly whispered "Thank you, Jesus."

Michael Loisel, an assistant prosecutor who tried the case, said the eyewitness testimony of Ms. Everett was the key factor in obtaining the conviction.

"We believe the jury reached the correct decision. The ultimate issue was one of identification, and we were confident that the evidence and testimony pointed to the defendant. We hope this will help bring closure to the family," Mr. Loisel said.

Outside the courtroom, Ms. Young-Tarrant said the crime was senseless, and the defendant easily could have walked away and done nothing after the exchange of words.

"This was in the hands of God since day one," she said.

Donnie Ray Hughes, of 311 Rockingham, was to return today on an unrelated weapons charge. Judge Zouhary will consider evidence presented during the trial to determine whether Hughes is guilty of the charge.

A sentencing hearing for the murder conviction has not been scheduled, but the punishment - 15 years to life in prison - is mandated by law. Judge Zouhary also will sentence him to an additional three years in prison for the gun specification.

Donnie Ray Hughes also is charged with possession of crack-cocaine in an unrelated incident. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Aug. 3.

Hughes' brother, Kenneth Hughes, 38, of 21st Street, is scheduled to go on trial Aug 8 for his role in the murder. He is charged with complicity in the commission of murder.

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.

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