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Published: Tuesday, 12/23/2008

Toledo man pleads no contest, faces up to 30 years in prison

Flashing a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade, Ernest Murphy entered the reception area of a local chiropractor's office Sept. 26 and, one by one, demanded money from the people inside.

Monday, the Toledo man pleaded no contest and was found guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of three counts of aggravated robbery. He faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 12 by Judge Denise Ann Dartt.

Murphy, 20, of 5817 Dorr St., Aptartment 1, was convicted of using a knife to threaten two patients and an employee in the waiting room of the chiropractor's office at 1825 North Reynolds Rd. The 79-year-old man and 54-year-old woman refused to give up their possessions, prompting the receptionist to offer Murphy money if he would leave, Assistant County Prosecutor Ian English said.

After he left the office, Murphy was chased by Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, who was off duty and at the clinic receiving treatment when he was alerted to the robbery. After a foot pursuit, Mr. Wagner caught Murphy in the 5200 block of Brandel Circle and held him until police officers arrived.

Upon arresting Murphy, police recovered the knife and money, Mr. English said.

His arrest came just two months after being released from prison after receiving a two-year sentence in 2006 for robbery.

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