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Published: Tuesday, 9/19/2006

Toledoan convicted in holdup slaying

A Toledo man entered into a plea agreement yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for killing a 55-year-old man during a robbery in the city's north end.

Andre Rice, 42, of 3252 Belmont Ave., was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery and sentenced immediately by Judge Stephen Yarbrough to 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence for the crimes.

The Alford pleas were entered in the homicide of Robert Smead, who was beaten on the head with a pipe and robbed Jan. 31 in the 500 block of Austin Street.

He died Feb. 8 in Toledo Hospital.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but pleads guilty to a lesser charge to escape more severe penalties had the case gone to trial.

Judge Yarbrough handled the pleas and sentencing for Judge Denise Ann Dartt.

Rice's co-defendant, Charles Lowe, of Jerusalem Township, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, and aggravated robbery.

A trial is scheduled for Monday before Judge Dartt.

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