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Published: Saturday, 8/5/2006

Toledo woman gets 12 years for man's murder

A Toledo woman was convicted and sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for her role in the murder of a Waterville man.

Christina Morris, 24, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery in the death of James Steinhurst, 62, who was beaten about the head and neck Oct. 18 in what authorities said was a set-up robbery in the defendant's home in South Toledo.

She also pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery for a similar crime two days later in which a victim was taken to a house, beaten, and robbed of a baseball hat and money.

Judge Charles Wittenberg accepted the plea agreement and sentenced her to 12 years in prison.

The hearing ended in a disturbance in which the defendant's brother, Joseph Redman, who apparently was upset with the outcome, allegedly attempted to throw a punch at a court deputy.

Mr. Redman, 44, of 756 Orchard St., struggled with deputies and was taken down to the floor of the courtroom. He was charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. He was being held last night in the county jail.

Morris' husband, Jesse Morris, 25, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated robbery for his part in the crimes. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

The couple, who lived on Orchard, have agreed to testify at the Sept. 25 trial of their co-defendant, Lonnie Scurles.

Scurles is charged with murder and aggravated robbery in Mr. Steinhurst's death.

Authorities believe Christina Morris took Mr. Steinhurst to the Morrises' residence for sexual favors. Instead, Mr. Steinhurst was beaten and robbed.

Mr. Steinhurst went home to Waterville after the beating, but later lost consciousness. He died in University Medical Center on Oct. 19.

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