Man found guilty in the murder of a 16-year-old in north Toledo

A Toledo man could spend the rest of his life in jail after being convicted of murder on Wednesday.

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTOL) – A Toledo man could spend the rest of his life in jail after being convicted of murder Wednesday.

A jury found that Darnell Bryant-Bey, 20, is guilty of the July murder of Sheldon Hick. It took the jury nine hours to deliberate.

“I was worried. And I prepared Shelton’s mother for that possibility [of a hung jury] and realized that we might have to do this again, and possibly quickly, “said prosecutor Frank Spryszak.” Of course, ‘Not Guilty’, we won’t get another shot. So we hoped that if they struggled like this, at least if we had a high-level jury, we could get another chance. But luckily we won a guilty verdict. “

The murder occurred in northern Toledo in July when police announced that a group of men were approaching Hicks and his friend on bicycles. Before leaving, Bryan-Bey fired a bullet that hit Hicks in the head.

Prosecutors told the jury they believed there was a longstanding feud between Hicks and Bryant-Bey.

Several witnesses were called to the stand during the trial, including a friend of Hicks who was with Hicks when he was shot. The testimony was key to the trial as little scientific evidence was presented during the trial, which frustrated prosecutors.

“Juries tend to wrap it up in a pretty little bow. They want fingerprint and DNA evidence,” Spryszak said. “And because these shows have been on for a while and DNA has been around for a long time, they forget that we have historically proven crimes without scientific evidence.”

When the foreman finally read the verdict, Bryan-Bey’s verdict looked almost shocked, in contrast to the Shelton Hicks family sobbing and hugging openly in the courtroom.

Prosecutors say that while they believe the verdict is justified, it does little to halt the cycle of violence that Toledo has seen.

“It seems too big a social norm,” said Spryszak. “We had a young man who was shot dead by a school in broad daylight.”

Bryant-Bey is sentenced next month. He faces life imprisonment for 18 years.

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