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Published: Friday, 1/30/2009

Jury finds Toledo man not guilty in murder

BLADE STAFF

A Toledo man charged in the 2007 Thanksgiving Day murder in a central city home was found not guilty Friday by a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury.

Darin Armstrong, 28, of 3228 Kylemore Rd. was acquitted on two alternate counts of murder with a firearm specification and one count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification.

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about four hours over two days before returning their verdict.

Armstrong was one of two men charged for the Nov. 22, 2007, shooting death of Marc LaShawn Draper, 36, who was fatally shot about 3 a.m. at 1638 Freeman St. while he prepared Thanksgiving dinner and was talking on the telephone. He suffered a single gunshot wound to the left side of his head.

The first suspect arrested in the case, Christopher Burleson, also was found not guilty of all charges in the crime after a bench trial in May, 2008.

Judge Denise Ann Dartt, who presided over the trial, said prosecutors failed to implicate Burleson in the crime and dismissed charges of murder, aggravated robbery, and gun possession.



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