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The judge had no decision to make as the law is clear that there is only one possible sentence for a conviction of murder. Smith’s family spoke at sentencing, one person saying they forgive Estelle for his crime. "I ask the family for forgiveness," Estelle said as he fought back tears. "I mean that from everything I got in me. I have been reading my Bible and in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus told his disciples as we ask for forgiveness for our trespass, forgive those who trespass against us. And he also told his disciples if you don’t forgive, then God will not forgive us. So I just pray that y’all really have forgiveness in your heart."

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More changes are taking place in Allen County buildings due to COVID-19. This time at Allen County Common Pleas Court. The courts remain open, but steps are being taken to limit the number of people in the Justice Center. All jury trials have been suspended for at least the next 30 days. Pre-trials are mostly being done over the phone between attorneys. Some cases have gone into court to go on the record, but who goes in is limited to essential personnel. Besides court staff, a judge classified that as lawyers, defendants and victims.

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A Lima man has been sentenced to prison for multiple charges in dealing cocaine and listed as a major drug offender. For two drug cases, Shay Williams was sentenced to 24 years behind bars for two cases involving drug dealing. Through a plea deal, Williams pleaded to five counts of trafficking cocaine and two counts of possession of cocaine. Two of the charges have major drug offender specifications. He was also ordered to forfeit nearly $50,000 to the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force. He will also have to pay more than $11,000 in restitution to the task force. During sentencing, several people voiced opinions that it's unfair Williams was sentenced longer than people who commit worse crimes.

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Allen County judge now weighs in on the conversation about reducing some drug sentences to misdemeanors.

Judge Jeffrey Reed spoke to your Hometown Stations about Senate Bill 3, which would reform sentencing laws for certain drug convictions. With the current legislation, reed says he finds multiple issues with it. He thinks the downgraded charges would take away the motivation for someone to change their life. Reed says that's what Allen County drug court has been doing for 19 years. It's a diversion program that holds the felony charge over someone until completing the treatment and then felony conviction is removed.

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A Lima man facing multiple charges, including kidnapping, is looking for a new lawyer to represent him. 27-year-old Kiarris Laws asked Judge Jeffrey Reed if he could drop his current attorney to get a new one. He said in court that he feels his current attorney hasn't done enough for him in his current case. Judge Reed will find a court-appointed attorney to represent him. Laws is facing multiple charges, including kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and gun-related charges. Law enforcement says Laws broke into a home and held a person at gunpoint while another person was going to retrieve money.

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Allen County Common Pleas Court has decided to address some of the defendants represented by attorney Steve Chamberlain. This after a shortage of court appointed attorneys. Everett Ward and several others represented by Chamberlain were notified by Judge Jeffrey Reed of Chamberlain's medical issues. Ward had a motion hearing scheduled last week, but it was continued.

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Defense for the case of a Lima man allegedly involved in kidnapping is attempting to suppress the testimony of a possible witness. Defense counsel for 28-year-old Marquavius Shurelds has asked the court for an evidentiary hearing. The defense believes a possible witness to the crime was coerced and had his rights violated by Lima Police detectives. It was said in court the witness, Alonso Williams, told one story and then a different one while speaking to detectives. .

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Law officials in the county say steps are being taken to address public defender issues that were raised last week. The NAACP said they intend to file a complaint against the public defender's office over the effort of court appointed representation. Both Judge Jeffrey Reed and attorney Stephen Chamberlain agree there are issues, but not with effort. 

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The local NAACP chapter is planning to file a complaint with a state agency. In a news conference Friday, they complained that the public defenders and court-appointed counsel in Lima and Allen County are not doing enough to help defendants. They said they've received multiple complaints that defendants are not happy with the counsel they been provided citing time spent going over cases.