There were verbal and physical altercations outside the courtroom between the defendant’s and victim’s supporters before and after a Dayton man was sentenced to 37 years to life for murder and other counts.
Lynntonio Watson, 27, was found guilty by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury on two counts of murder and six counts of felonious assault in the 2013 shooting death of 19-year-old Martell Gray. Prosecutors said Watson shot and killed “Mook” Gray and also fired gunshots that injured Shamarr Bodine and Robert Wood near Dayton’s Whitney Young Estates.
“It’s been a long, hard and extremely sad 11 months for us, but we are still standing,” Lenee Scott, Gray’s mother, said during her victim impact statement. “Because of your selfishness, stupidity and immaturity, on Sept. 7, 2013, you hurt so many people.”
Wearing blue Montgomery County Jail clothing, Watson turned to Gray’s family and said: “I know deep down in my heart I’m not guilty of the crime I’ve been convicted of,” he said, adding, “To Mook’s family, I’m not the one that killed y’all’s son.”
Judge Barbara Gorman told Watson that when he came across one of the victims who testified, “You didn’t call them a liar, you called them a snitch.”
Before the hearing started, groups of people were yelling and arguing in the court’s hallway. Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies told people to take their cell phones to their cars and court personnel also held media members’ cell phones until after the hearing.
After the hearing outside the courthouse, deputies broke up a scuffle between the groups and led a few people away in handcuffs.
“Throughout the trial it had been very emotional between both sides to a point where people had to be wanded prior to going into the courtroom,” prosecutor Tony Schoen said. “When you go through a trial like that and hear all the testimony, I think some of those wounds are reopened and exposed and sometimes emotions get the better of people in those situations.”
In a pre-sentence memorandum, prosecutors asked for a sentence of 40 years to life and said that Gray was shot six times, Bodine twice and Wood once.
“Defendant was on active parole at the time he committed the triple shooting,” prosecutors wrote. “Defendant has shown that he is incapable of living in society. Defendant needs to be sentenced accordingly.”
Defense attorney J. Allen Wilmes advocated for a minimum sentence of 18 years to life.
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