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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2014

Findlay man, 21, pleads guilty to murder in Nov. 8 shooting


FINDLAY — A Findlay man pleaded guilty Tuesday to murder in the Nov. 8 shooting of Joe Gutierrez III.

Ralph Harris III, 21, admitted he shot Mr. Gutierrez at East Foulke and Crystal avenues following an altercation earlier that evening. He also pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of drugs.

“Although he didn’t intentionally set out to kill someone, his actions were extremely reckless, which resulted in the death of the young man,” his attorney, Stevin Groth, said afterward. “He took full responsibility for all the actions that occurred.”

As part of a plea agreement, Harris agreed to testify in the trial of his co-defendant, Montre Robinson, 21, of Findlay. Mr. Robinson, who also is charged with murder in the case, is to go to trial Oct. 14.

Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Niemeyer scheduled sentencing for Harris on Oct. 30. He faces life in prison with parole eligibility after 18 years for the murder charge and a firearms specification.

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