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Published: Thursday, 6/11/2009

Defendant acquitted in home invasion

A Maryland man charged with devising a plan to rob a Toledo home last year was acquitted on several charges in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday after the judge ruled that insufficient evidence was presented during his trial.

Wendel Riley, 25, was acquitted on two counts of aggravated burglary and three counts each of aggravated burglary and kidnapping, each with gun specifications. He was the fourth man charged in the April 20, 2008, home invasion at 4135 Lewis Ave., where the victims were duct-taped while three armed men ransacked the home.

Terrell Edwards, Jeremy Yates, and Julius Andrews were arrested shortly after the incident and entered plea agreements last year. They were each sentenced to 16 years in prison.

As part of their agreements, the men agreed to cooperate in the state s case against Riley, who had a warrant out for his arrest at the time. During the trial, Yates and Andrews each testified that Riley did not plan the robbery, although they admitted telling police last year that he orchestrated the home invasion.

Judge Frederick McDonald ruled to grant the defense motion for acquittal yesterday after almost three days of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses.

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