Toledo man sentenced to jail, teen pleads to position in deadly theft

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Aug. 18 – A downtown man was sentenced to prison Wednesday by a judge on the Common Pleas Court in Lucas County for driving two teenagers into a fatal armed robbery.

Larry J. Norman, 22, from the 1200s block of Waverly Avenue, was sentenced by Judge Joe McNamara to 9 to 12 years’ imprisonment for aggravated robbery with a gun spec. The charges of murder and aggravated assault, both with gun specs, were dropped on Wednesday.

“You got people into robbery with guns. You are responsible for what you did,” said Judge McNamara. “A life has been lost. We can never bring that person back.”

On August 28, 2020, Norman Demonte Hartfield, 18, and Marquell Bradford, then 17, drove to a residence on the 1200 block of Upton Avenue with a plan to rob three contractors who were working on the house. Norman waited in his vehicle while Mr. Hartfield and Bradford, now 18 years old, went to the house.

Bradford admitted his role on Tuesday.

The armed youth tried to rob the inmates. One of the inmates, John Hawkins, then 24 years old, shot Mr. Hartfield and Bradford. Norman drove them both to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, where Mr Hartfield died, prosecutors say.

“He was the oldest of all those people involved in this robbery. Since he was the oldest, he had an opportunity to prevent this robbery, ”said Assistant District Attorney Thomas Smallwood.

Mr. Hartfield’s cousin Joy Johnson said she knew Norman didn’t pull the trigger, but he still played a role in the man’s death.

“We mourn every day, his brothers mourn every day. It’s hard, ”she said. “I’m not saying that it wasn’t his fault because it was him. We all wanted a chance for him to grow and learn.”

Defense attorney James Neumeyer asked the judge to take into account that his client has no criminal record for adult offenses and his involvement in the case has been limited. He did not go into the apartment and never got out of the vehicle, said Mr. Neumeyer and demanded a minimum penalty on behalf of his client.

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Norman chose not to speak on Wednesday for fear of public speaking, but told Judge McNamara that a newborn son was waiting for him at home.

Bradford was initially charged in the Lucas County Juvenile Court but was certified to face trial as an adult. On Tuesday, Bradford admitted his role with a plea for negligent homicide with a gun spec.

He will be sentenced at a later date.