Clinging to a family member, a distraught Gwendolin Phillips sobbed outside a Lucas County Common Pleas courtroom yesterday after seeing the man who killed her son convicted of murder.
"He had no chance," she said while being escorted away. "He had no chance."
Deshawn McCardell, 18, 3126 Franklin Ave., pleaded no contest to murder with a one-year gun specification yesterday and faces a mandatory life sentence with parole eligibility after 16 years. Judge Gary Cook scheduled sentencing for May 28.
Charges of aggravated murder and tampering with evidence will be dismissed when McCardell is sentenced.
According to Assistant County Prosecutor Ian English, Antonyo Phillips, 15, was visiting family on East Streicher Street about 2 a.m. Dec. 28 when he and some cousins decided to walk to a nearby relative's home to get a movie. En route, the group traveled down West
Streicher Street, Mr. English said.
At West Streicher and Franklin, the group was confronted by "a large number of members of the Xbloc gang. Included was McCardell, only 17 at the time. "As the Xbloc gang approached Antonyo and his family, the defendant fired a single shot from a 45-caliber semiautomatic handgun into the air," Mr. English said, adding that the gunshot prompted young Phillips and his cousins to run. "The defendant gave chase during which he cleared a jam in his handgun, then reloaded the weapon and fired a single shot, which struck Antonyo Phillips in the back."
Young Phillips of West Toledo was found by police lying in front of a Cottage Avenue address and pronounced dead at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center a half-hour later. A freshman at Rogers High School who played on the school's football team, he died of a single gunshot wound to the back.
In subsequent police interviews, McCardell admitted to shooting the teen but denied it was done intentionally, Mr. English said. He told police he used a 45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, but the gun was never recovered, Mr. English said.
Attorney Adrian Cimerman said after the hearing his client's respectful demeanor in court showed he accepted responsibility for his actions and the consequences he faces. "I think he handled it better than a lot of other kids, and he's a kid, in that situation. That in and of itself shows that he accepted responsibility for a terrible mistake," he said. "He knows he's looking at a lot of prison time."
McCardell, who was certified to stand trial as an adult in January, was on parole at the time of the incident. He had been released in November from the Department of Youth Services after serving time for delinquency in connection with carrying a concealed weapon. According to court documents, he was carrying a .357 handgun when he was stopped by the Toledo police mountain bike unit in May.
The teenager was also found delinquent in connection with felonious assault, aggravated rioting, domestic violence, resisting arrest, tampering with a parking meter, three counts of providing false information, and disorderly conduct, authorities said.
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