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Published: Tuesday, 7/19/2005

Toledoan receives life in 2003 fatal shooting

A Toledo man showed no remorse yesterday as a Lucas County Common Pleas judge sentenced him to life in prison for killing a 23-year-old man.

After a three-day jury trial last week, Donnie Ray Hughes, 44, was found guilty of the murder in the Nov. 17, 2003, shooting death of Kenneth Young.

Young was shot in the head and chest as he sat behind the wheel of a car that was parked at 325 Rockingham, where his girlfriend, Tina Everett lived.

Judge Jack Zouhary sentenced Hughes to life for the murder of Young, and imposed an additional three years because Hughes used a gun. He also received a consecutive five-year sentence on a conviction for a weapons charge.

Hughes of 311 Rockingham will be eligible for parole in 23 years.

Judge Zouhary noted Hughes' lack of remorse for the killing and his extensive criminal convictions of 16 misdemeanors and five felonies.

"It appears to me you are deserving of the severest punitive sanctions that the law allows for your offense for the life that you took," he said. Ms. Everett testified that she watched Hughes and his brother, Kenneth Hughes, arguing with Young, and that Donnie Hughes shot him in the chest.

Witnesses testified that Hughes and others had exchanged words several hours earlier that day outside the Rockingham location, and the defendant was livid that the victim had called him a snitch.

But Hughes maintained his innocence, refusing to take responsibility for the shooting. "I'm not the man who took this young man's life. You got the wrong person," he told Judge Zouhary moments before learning his sentence.

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

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