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Published: Tuesday, 9/1/2009

Toledoan, 19, accepts guilt in fatal shooting of father of 5

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Michael Brinck leaves court after entering a plea in the fatal shooting of Kevin Church. Prosecutors said a plea was negotiated because of evidence concerns. Michael Brinck leaves court after entering a plea in the fatal shooting of Kevin Church. Prosecutors said a plea was negotiated because of evidence concerns.
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It is unclear what Michael Brinck and Kevin Church were quarreling about during the early morning hours of April 5, authorities said, but what started as words ended with the shooting death of one of the men and time in prison for the other.

Brinck, 19, of 603 Indian Knoll, appeared Monday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, where he entered an Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification. He faces up to 13 years in prison when sentenced Sept. 21.

"[A witness saw] Mr. Brinck motion the victim to move from where he was standing and when they were within five feet, he pulled a gun from his waistband and shot three times in his direction," Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Bohner said.

Mr. Church, who was a father of five, died of massive bleeding after being shot once in the leg and once in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.

"It appears to have been a senseless act of violence," Mr. Bohner said after the plea, adding that it was devastating to the Church family.

The death remained unsolved until a witness went to police detectives about two months later, Mr. Bohner said.

Brinck was arrested June 8 and was later indicted on charges of aggravated murder and two alternate counts of murder, each with gun specifications.

Mr. Bohner said yesterday that the negotiated plea was a result of evidentiary concerns. In-

voluntary manslaughter involves a death as a result of the offender committing a felony, in this case felonious assault.

In an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his innocence or does not admit he committed a crime, but still pleads guilty because he decides it's in his best interest. The court treats it as a guilty plea.

At the sentencing date, the murder charges will be dismissed.

Family and friends of both Brinck and Mr. Church crowded Judge Denise Ann Dartt's courtroom yesterday.

Mr. Church's family left without making any comments.

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or419-213-2134.



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