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Published: Thursday, 11/10/2005

Toledoan guilty in fatal shooting of teen at party

Perry Perry

A Toledo man who fatally shot a 17-year-old Whitmer High School student when a fight broke out during a large party entered into a plea agreement yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Timothy Perry, 24, of 5056 Valley Forge Drive, pleaded no contest to one count of involuntary manslaughter and a specification that he used a gun in the crime.

Judge Gary Cook accepted the plea and found him guilty. He scheduled sentencing for Nov. 30. Perry faces a sentence of six to 13 years in prison.

Perry killed Justin Rushlow after a brawl erupted outside 1614 Primrose Ave. during a party where about 100 people were in attendance. But prosecutors said the teenager was not the intended victim of the defendant's gunfire.

Andrew Lastra, a county assistant prosecutor, said both Perry and the victim were in the basement when a group of people crashed the party and attempted to collect $5 from those who wanted to drink from a keg they brought, upsetting some of the partygoers.

In the ensuing fight, a 17-year-old Toledo boy who was with the group fired a 38-caliber pistol several times into the air. Perry and the victim went outside, and Perry fired a 22-caliber gun he brought to the party in the direction of the gunman.

Mr. Lastra said young Rushlow, of Gage Road, was shot in the abdomen when he stepped into the line of fire. He was struck by the bullet fired from Perry's gun.

"There was no evidence that Perry wanted to intentionally shoot or kill Justin Rushlow. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Mr. Lastra said.

Young Rushlow, who would have been a senior at Whitmer, died about three hours later in Toledo Hospital.

The 17-year-old who fired the gun has not been charged in the incident, but Toledo police Detective Vince Mauro said prosecution could be pursued in Juvenile Court.

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