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Published: Tuesday, 9/1/2009

2 who held kids at gunpoint get 8-year terms

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Tamara Peterson's two young children were at home with a teenage baby sitter when she received a phone call at work that they had just been robbed and threatened by three armed men.

"My [7-year-old] daughter still jumps when someone walks in," Ms. Peterson told Judge Denise Ann Dartt in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Monday. Ms. Peterson said the intruders told her 5-year-old son he'd be killed if he moved.

Two of three men were sentenced yesterday after being convicted of forcing their way into a home in the 1800 block of Marne Avenue and robbing the house after ordering the two young children and their 15-year-old baby sitter to the floor with threats.

Kenneth Powell, 20, of 411 Langdon St., and Darnell Cox, 18, of 1902 North Superior St., were each sentenced to eight years in prison Monday. They entered no-contest pleas Aug. 18 to one count each of aggravated burglary and kidnapping, both with one-year gun specifications.

A third suspect, Joshua Robinson, 17, is charged with one count each of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary as well as three counts of kidnapping, each with gun specifications. He is being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $375,000 bond and is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 15.

Authorities said Powell and Cox broke into the home about 6:45 p.m. May 27. They fled with clothing, cash, and televisions.

They were arrested a short time later after police found the getaway vehicle with the stolen items inside.

Cox and Powell apologized for their actions and promised the judge they would emerge from prison as different people.

" I'm working to change my life," Cox said. "When I go to prison, I'll come out a new man."

Judge Dartt sentenced both Cox and Powell to seven years for each charge plus a mandatory one-year gun specification.

She ordered the sentences be served concurrently.

As part of the plea, Judge Dartt dismissed for each defendant two counts of kidnapping as well as a charge of aggravated robbery.

Ms. Peterson said she knows the incident could have been worse and is thankful her children and their baby-sitter weren't injured. But she wanted the men to be held accountable for their actions and for the long-term impact they had on her children.

Judge Dartt said that each of the defendants had juvenile records similar to the crime that brought them before her.

She also noted the ages of the victims. "The victims in this case were very young," she said.

"The baby-sitter was only 15," she said. "I find that to be very disturbing."



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