When Kevin Dunklin went to a West Toledo alley in the early morning hours of Sept. 24, he believed he was meeting an ex-girlfriend who wanted to buy drugs, an assistant county prosecutor said recently.
Instead, the 42-year-old Toledo man had been lured there by Samantha Stewart and Chad Irbey to be robbed, authorities said.
Dunklin was shot, robbed, and left in the alley.
Ms. Stewart is in custody awaiting a March 23 trial. Her co-defendant, Irbey, 22, of 2326 Genesee St., entered an Alford plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Tuesday to one count each of murder with a gun specification and aggravated robbery.
He faces life in prison when sentenced March 23 by Judge Frederick McDonald.
Judge McDonald has no discretion in sentencing Irbey to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 18 years for the murder charge and accompanying gun specification.
The judge can add 10 years for the aggravated robbery either as a consecutive or concurrent sentence, meaning the maximum sentence Irbey faces is 28 years to life in prison.
Assistant County Prosecutor Frank Spryszak said Ms. Stewart and Irbey had devised a plan to rob the victim. He said that Dunklin was an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Stewart's, and that she had set up a meeting in an alley near Burnham and Vermaas avenues.
"Ms. Stewart came up to the car on the passenger side. The defendant came up to the driver's side window with a .38 caliber, five-shot revolver," Mr. Spryszak said. "He pointed it through the driver's side window and fired all five shots."
Dunklin died from gunshot wounds, including two in the head, Mr. Spryszak said.
Ms. Stewart and Irbey were initially charged with aggravated murder, murder, and aggravated robbery, all with gun specifications.
As part of the negotiated deal, the aggravated murder charge as well as the gun specification for the robbery charge will be dismissed.
In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains his or her innocence or does not admit to committing a crime, but pleads guilty for his or her best interest. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
After Dunklin was shot, according to Mr. Spryszak, the gunman pulled him from the car, searched his pockets, and left him in the alley where he was later found.
Ms. Stewart and Irbey then drove the victim's car to Dunklin's residence, which they were unsuccessful in entering, he added. Using the $38 stolen from Dunklin, the couple purchased cigarettes and drugs, and later dumped the vehicle in Hecklinger Pond in East Toledo, Mr. Spryszak said.
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