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Guilty plea offers Ohio man hope of freedom in 22 years

Every criminal charge deserves a vigorous defense. And no defendants should ever have to worry that their legal representative isn't prepared to do everything possible on their behalf to fight the criminal charges.

That does not necessarily mean, though, that every charge warrants being taken to trial. A lot depends on understanding the strength of the prosecution's case and the workings of the Ohio legal system. Sometimes, the details dictate pursuing strategies that provide the defendant some hope for the future.

This seems to have been a major factor in a case out of Warren County. 

The 36-year-old defendant entered a plea of guilty to a charge that he murdered a 16-year-old boy last December. He also pleaded guilty to charges of tampering with evidence, kidnapping and aggravated robbery in the case.

Prosecutors confirm that in exchange for the plea and the man's testimony in the coming trial of a second suspect, two other charges against the man were dropped. When he is sentenced, the defendant is expected to receive a life sentence with a chance of parole after 22 years.

According to police, the defendant and the alleged accomplice beat the teenager in an attempt to steal drugs and money from him. The victim was left at a hospital after the attack, but died of his wounds.

The defendant's attorney told the court that his client did not intend for the boy to die. He also said that his client was high on heroin at the time of and didn't fully realize what had happened until he sobered up. When he did, he was remorseful.

Prosecutors said they agreed to accept the plea deal because the defendant had been honest and cooperated in the investigation.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Man blames drugs, pleads guilty to beating teen," Amandea Lee Myers, May 9, 2014

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