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Published: Monday, 2/8/2010

Toledoan gets life in prison for fatal shooting after party


A Toledo man arrested after the fatal shooting of another man at a Fourth of July party in East Toledo was convicted of murder in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Monday and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

Harrison Graham, 26, of 459 5th St., pleaded no contest to murder with a one-year gun specification. The charges were lowered from aggravated murder with a three-year gun specification as part of a negotiated plea agreement.

Judge Gary Cook then immediately sentenced Graham to the mandatory sentence of life behind bars with the eligibility of parole after 16 years.

Graham was convicted of killing Dexter Wilkey, 40, who was shot at about 1 a.m. July 5 in the 400 block of 5th Street. He died of multiple gunshot wounds shortly afterward at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Loisel said that the two men were arguing when Mr. Wilkey pushed Graham. In response, Graham took out a gun and shot up to four times, hitting the victim. After Mr. Wilkey was on the ground, Graham returned and shot another two to four bullets at the victim, Mr. Loisel said.

Prior to the incident, the men had been at a party together and were celebrating the birth of Graham's child.

Graham apologized for his actions prior to his sentencing, saying he was sorry to the victim's family. Family members live out of state and did not attend the plea and sentencing, Mr. Loisel said.

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