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Toledoan gets 6 years in killing

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James Warren appears in Lucas County Common Pleas Court during his sentencing for fatally assaulting Walter Sneider last year. Warren was ordered to spend six years in prison.

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A Toledo man who punched a 59-year-old man, causing his death, was sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to six years in prison.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks said the attack by James Warren on Walter Sneider outside Mr. Sneider's near-downtown Toledo apartment building occurred for "no justifiable reason."

Mr. Sneider died July 28 in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, two days after the assault in the building's parking lot, 240 21st St.

The defendant, who was living on the streets, had just exchanged words with residents inside the victim's apartment building.

After seeing a woman he believed was using a cell phone to call police, the agitated and aggressive defendant stormed outside, where he encountered Mr. Sneider and asked him, "What are you looking at?''

Mr. Sneider fell backward to the ground after being struck in the face, hitting his head on the pavement.

Indicted on a charge of murder, Warren, 45, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after entering into a plea agreement Jan. 8. The deal struck with prosecutors recommended the six-year sentence.

Warren's defense attorney, Donald Cameron, said his client didn't intend to kill Mr. Sneider but accepts full responsibility for the assault and the ensuing homicide.

Warren, who was facing up to 10 years for the conviction, apologized in court before being sentenced.

Judge Franks said the defendant's extensive criminal record dates to 1985 and that many of his 11 felony and 72 misdemeanor convictions were for drug-related offenses.

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