Deliberations begin in murder trial

Toledo man accused in shooting during alleged drug deal


A Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury will continue deliberations today in the murder trial of Paul Cooper.

Mr. Cooper, 33, of 2838 Elm St. is charged with two alternate counts of murder, both with gun specifications, for the Oct. 26 shooting death of Michael Heidtman. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Several witnesses testified over two days before the jury of eight women and four men. The jury deliberated for about three hours Thursday and was to return today to continue deliberations in the case, which is presided over by Judge Frederick McDonald.

Assistant prosecutors say Heidtman and another man were trying to purchase drugs from Mr. Cooper when Heidtman grabbed the crack cocaine and ran.

Although he was later tackled and the drugs retrieved, Heidtman was shot once through the window of a car after he returned in a vehicle to the house where a party had been going on.

The defense asked jurors to question the reliability of witnesses, whom they accused of being involved with drugs themselves and of giving inconsistent statements.