Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Elyria 62°

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Teen gets 30 to life for role in botched robbery


ELYRIA — Nineteen-year-old Justin Chapman was sentenced today to 30 years to life in prison for a botched robbery that left a friend dead and a small-time drug dealer with six bullets in his body.

Chapman was 14 at the time he took part in an April 26, 2005 robbery with his cousin, Julian Smith and 19-year-old Darren English, who was shot and died after fleeing the home of drug dealer William “B.J.” Fiske III.

Smith, now 23, traded a life sentence for a sentence of 13 years in exchange for his co-operation.

Chapman rejected several plea deals including an offer that would have kept him in ju-venile custody until age 21 with three years of supervision after his release.

Before sentencing, Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski rejected a request that Chap-man filed on his own behalf for the case to be dropped.

In an earlier trial, a jury convicted Chapman and he was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison, but an appellate court ordered that be re-tried, saying the deal prosecutors cut with Chapman’s cousin was improper.

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