For his role in the events that led to the death of his cousin, a Temperance man was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison.
Jake Newman, 23, pleaded guilty Sept. 26 to involuntary manslaughter with a firearm specification and felonious assault for the Oct. 1, 2015 shooting death of Keshawn Groom, 21, and the wounding of Anthony Henderson, the bar manager who shot Mr. Groom.
Newman, who had been indicted for murder, admitted he gave a loaded gun to Mr. Groom after they'd been kicked out of the Spigot Bar, 754 Western Ave.
“Someone lost his life — Keshawn, your cousin — and two other people were injured over something ridiculous,” Judge Linda Jennings told him. “You, Keshawn, and the co-defendant were asked to leave the Spigot Bar because Keshawn was smoking, and he didn't like that.”
Mr, Groom got into an argument with Mr. Henderson, and he and Newman were locked out of the bar. Video surveillance showed Mr. Groom tapping on the window with a gun followed by co-defendant DaMichael Cunningham, Jr., opening the door and letting Mr. Groom enter.
“Because you gave Keshawn the gun, he's dead and two other people were injured,” the judge said.
She cited his lengthy juvenile record and outstanding warrants for offenses committed after Mr. Groom's death in sentencing him to prison. Mr. Newman had been on the run for 18 months after his 2015 indictment.
“I'm going to take into account the fact that you have accepted responsibility for your actions, but that doesn't change the situation, Mr. Newman,” Judge Jennings said. “This is a tragedy — a tragedy that is going to affect your family for the rest of their life because of your actions.”
Defense attorney Sara Roller said Newman deeply regretted the decisions he made.
“He has indicated a great awareness of what happened that night, and he further indicated that …. Keshawn made his own decisions that night, but things could have been avoided but for Mr. Newman's actions in handing over the gun,” Ms. Roller said.
“I take responsibility for everything I did, and I want to tell my cousin's mother that I'm sorry,” he said. “Things will never be the same for her, and that's my fault.”
At a jury trial last year, Cunningham, now 26, was acquitted of murder but convicted of two counts of felonious assault for the wounding of Mr. Henderson and his wife, Kimberly. He was sentenced to a total of 17½ years in prison for those charges and three unrelated counts.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.