Youth connected to fatal shooting sentenced in Ohio
A teen boy who TOLEDO — set up a January drug deal that led to a West Toledo man being shot told a judge Monday he takes full responsibility for his actions.
“I can’t blame anyone but myself,” Dejion Staples-Pressley, now 18, told Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge Connie Zemmelman. He was sentenced Monday, Nov. 13, to a minimum of six months in the Youth Treatment Center — which seeks to rehabilitate juvenile offenders — for two counts of complicity, both first-degree felonies.
Investigators said Brian Roberts, 42, and another man met Staples-Pressley and his co-defendant, Cayvon Wells, 17 for a drug deal in January in the 2000 block of Barrows Street. Staples-Pressley previously testified he planned to rob the men of drugs so he could use the funds to make music in a studio.
Prosecutors believe the Wells youth shot Mr. Roberts during a scuffle. Mr. Roberts died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office. He is charged with murder and aggravated robbery — both first-degree felonies. He is being tried as an adult.
Staples-Pressley will be at the treatment center for a minimum of six months, although bad behavior or any sign that he may not be rehabilitated could send him to the Detention of Youth Services until he is 21, Judge Zemmelman said.
Judge Zemmelman addressed Mr.Roberts’ mother, who sat in the court pews behind Staples-Pressley. She wrapped her arms around herself as she cried.
“I can’t imagine what you’re going through,” the judge told the mother, who lost her only son.
Lori Olender, deputy chief of the juvenile division of the county prosecutor’s office, argued Monday that sending the youth to the treatment center doesn’t send the right message to other offenders. In juvenile court alone, there have been six homicide-related cases this year, she said.
“The message that this sends to other youths who get involved in this, it doesn’t matter that he has no record, he started at the top,” she said. “He didn’t pick something small and gradually go up to it. That doesn’t make it any less severe, your Honor... We’re talking about the loss of a life and it’s at his hand because as he testified, your Honor in court, he is the one who set up the drug deal and the person with the gun came later. He knows this person to carry a gun.”
Lucas County Judge Connie Zemmelman