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Published: Friday, 3/9/2007

North Toledo riot's last criminal case to be tried

Donnell Summers pleaded guilty to riot charge in January but changed his mind; he is to return to court next week. Donnell Summers pleaded guilty to riot charge in January but changed his mind; he is to return to court next week.
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The final criminal case stemming from the Oct. 15, 2005, riot in North Toledo likely will be the only one of the more than 115 charges filed that will go to trial.

Donnell Summers, 26, appeared briefly before Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Doneghy yesterday to ask for more time to ensure his new attorney is available.

Mr. Summers is charged with aggravated riot, a fourth-degree felony, and faces up to 18 months in prison.

Mr. Summers initially pleaded no contest to the charge in January. The day he was scheduled to be sentenced last month, Mr. Summers withdrew his plea and requested time to hire a new lawyer.

"My conscience was eating at me," Mr. Summers said yesterday, explaining why he chose to fight the felony charge. "Everything that I worked for all these years; that's my life."

Mr. Summers will return to court March 15.

Michael Joyce waits to appear in Common Pleas Court. He was in court for failing to report to serve his jail sentence.
Michael Joyce waits to appear in Common Pleas Court. He was in court for failing to report to serve his jail sentence.
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Also before Judge Doneghy yesterday was fellow defendant Michael Joyce, who faced a probation violation charge in October for failing to show up at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, to serve his sentence.

Joyce was sentenced to six months at the facility after pleading guilty under an Alford plea Aug. 9 to an aggravated riot charge.

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. The case was continued to April 5.



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