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Published: Saturday, 10/11/2008

Inmate gets 15-years-to-life term


In what the prosecution described as 'a victory for the victim's family,' a Toledo man was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison yesterday for a 1993 murder.

Robert Wilson, 52, was convicted in Lucas County Common Pleas Court last month for the murder of Brenda Navarre, 33.

Ms. Navarre was a confidential informant for the police department's vice narcotics unit. She had made several direct buys of crack cocaine from Wilson, according to police testimony at the trial.

She was found in December, 1993, in the 1200 block of Paxton Street with a serious head injury and died a day later. Her head had been crushed by a 110-pound rock.

Wilson is now serving a 13-year prison sentence in the Toledo Correctional Institution on unrelated convictions. The sentence handed down yesterday by visiting Judge James Barber of Fulton County Common Pleas Court will begin after

Wilson completes his current sentence.

He would be eligible for parole after 15 years, Judge Barber said.

Wilson's attorney, Ronnie Wingate, said his client plans to appeal.

Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Michael Loisel expressed satisfaction with

the sentence.

'We're pleased with the justice system and the fact that a murder committed in 1993 can be successfully prosecuted in 2008,' Mr. Loisel said.

Ms. Navarre's murder remained unsolved for many years, until it was reopened by cold-case detectives in 2003, when Wilson's wife came forward.

The victim's family did not make a statement in the courtroom.

'We're just happy it's over and done with,' said Amy Navarre, the victim's niece, after the proceedings had finished.

Contact Kate Giammarise at: kgiammarise@theblade.com or 419-724-6133.

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