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Published: Thursday, 2/23/2006

Court date set in fatal Springfield Township home entry

Attorney Jack Viren, Jr, left, accompanies suspects Brandon Klein, seated, Brian Hartford, Jose Hernandez, William Klink, and Michael Madrid, left to right, in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. They are charged in a Springfield Township home invasion during which an accomplice was fatally shot. Prosecutor George Evans, far right, and attorney Patrick Mason, second from right, also attended. Attorney Jack Viren, Jr, left, accompanies suspects Brandon Klein, seated, Brian Hartford, Jose Hernandez, William Klink, and Michael Madrid, left to right, in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. They are charged in a Springfield Township home invasion during which an accomplice was fatally shot. Prosecutor George Evans, far right, and attorney Patrick Mason, second from right, also attended.
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A pretrial hearing is scheduled for next week in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for three of five men who are charged in a home invasion in Springfield Township during which an accomplice was fatally shot.

Jose J. Hernandez, Brandon Klein, and Michael Madrid, all 24, were trying to retain attorney Patrick Mason to represent them in the case. However, Judge Denise Ann Dartt yesterday told the defendants Mr. Mason could represent only one of them.

They were ordered to return to court March 1, when they are expected to each have their own attorneys.

Brian Hartford, 31, and William Klink, 25, who also are charged in the crime, appeared in court yesterday, and their cases were continued to March 29.

The men initially were indicted on one count of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary. However, a grand jury handed up an additional charge of murder on Feb. 10.

The involuntary manslaughter and murder counts stem from the death of John Reece, Jr., 29, who was shot Jan. 20 when he and the five defendants allegedly tried to rob the occupants of a home at 8965 Old Airport Hwy. of drugs and money.

Authorities said Joshua Bennett, 21, who lived in the house, shot Reece and Mr. Klein after the intruders entered the home and one of them fired a gun at him and his girlfriend.

Mr. Klein was wounded in the buttocks and thigh. Reece was taken by one of the defendants to Medical University of Ohio Medical Center, where he died seven hours later.

Sheriff's detectives seized more than 100 marijuana plants, lights and power supplies, and three firearms from the home.

Mr. Bennett, Joel K. Bixler, and Jodi M. Keller were indicted on one count each of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana.



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