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Published: Tuesday, 2/6/2007

3rd man convicted in '06 murder in W. Toledo

The last of three men indicted in the slaying and robbery a year ago of Rodney Coley at his home on Toledo's west side was convicted and sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Dante Boone, 18, who testified at the trials of his accomplices, pleaded no contest to murder for his role in the Feb. 1, 2006, homicide of Mr. Coley, 36, who was a city employee and the father of three boys.

Judge Charles Doneghy immediately sentenced Boone to 15 years to life in prison - the mandatory punishment for murder, satisfying a plea agreement he reached before the jury trial of his co-defendants.

Mr. Coley was shot and killed when James Harris, Jr., 20, fired a .357 revolver through the victim's front door at 2736 Bryn Mawr Drive after Harris, Christopher Mason, 22, and a then 17-year-old Boone hatched a plan to steal or rob marijuana they believed was at the residence.

Harris was convicted of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery and sentenced to 33 years to life in prison. A jury found Mason guilty of murder and aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to 21 years to life.

Prosecutors said Mr. Coley opened his door about 11 p.m. in response to knocking from Mason and slammed and locked the door when he saw the defendants brandishing guns.

Harris shot three times into the glass and wood door, hitting Mr. Coley in the chest. The defendants were arrested the next day near Swanton when they tried to hide the guns.

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