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Published: 1/9/2009

Man pleads not guilty to slaying

BLADE STAFF
James Leroux, 23, right, with attorney Jerome Phillips, is accused of shooting an acquaintance in South Toledo. James Leroux, 23, right, with attorney Jerome Phillips, is accused of shooting an acquaintance in South Toledo.
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James Leroux was handling a gun when it discharged, authorities said, fatally shooting a 16-year-old acquaintance.

Leroux, 23, of 560 Walsh St. pleaded not guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday on one count each of reckless homicide and having a weapon as a felon. The homicide charge has a gun specification.

If convicted on both charges, he could face up to 13 years in prison.

Judge Linda Jennings set a Feb. 4 court date.

Leroux was originally arrested on a murder charge for the Dec. 14 shooting death of Luis Ruiz of South Toledo. The Ruiz youth died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The incident occurred in an upstairs room at 2132 South Ave., near Airport Highway, just after midnight. Witnesses said the victim was among four people at the home when the shooting occurred.

When police arrived, the Ruiz youth was on the front porch and his friends were performing CPR on him. At the time, witnesses told police that he had been shot in a drive-by shooting.

But evidence at the scene, including a blood trail inside, indicated the shooting occurred inside the house.

Leroux was arrested Dec. 15 at a gas station on Manhattan Boulevard near I-280 in North Toledo. He remains in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.



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