Jury says 'guilty' in Lima murder case

Mar. 20—LIMA — An Allen County jury on Wednesday returned guilty verdicts against a Lima man charged with killing his friend on New Year's Eve during an alcohol-fueled argument.

Djuan McLaurin Sr. was convicted on two counts of murder, each unclassified felonies, and one count of felonious assault related to the shooting death of 41-year-old Sandros Boddie Jr. Each of the counts carried additional firearm specifications. The felonious assault charge was the result of McLaurin pointing a firearm at his own son and pulling the trigger. The gun malfunctioned, according to testimony during the three-day trial.

Judge Terri Kohlrieser sentenced McLaurin to a prison term of 32 years to life.

The defendant took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday and admitted he fired the shot that killed Boddie after a day of heavy drinking and playing dominoes. McLaurin said a verbal argument had ensued between the two men over scoring in a domino game and continued to escalate throughout the evening.

The 46-year-old McLaurin said he retrieved a gun from inside a microwave oven located in his garage at 2226 N. Glenwood Avenue — where he and Sandros had spent several hours drinking and playing dominoes — and laid it on a table as tensions over the game continued to rise. He told jurors Boddie took the gun and hid it somewhere inside the attached residence, prompting McLaurin to obtain a second handgun from his bedroom.

"He was cheating. It was mostly a testosterone thing," McLaurin said of the argument between the two men. "Then he said we could 'take it to the grass,' meaning we could go outside and fight. But I don't fight."

McLaurin testified that after he retrieved a second handgun Boddie remarked, "If you're going to shoot me, shoot me now. If not, then I'm going home."

At that point, the defendant testified, Boddie "raised his hands in a fighting stance and 'launched' at me. And when he launched, I fired the gun ... once. He went down and then I passed out from shock and adrenaline."

Testimony Wednesday from Dr. Thomas Blomquist, a deputy coroner from the Lucas County Coroner's Office, revealed Boddie died as the result of a gunshot to the left side of his head.

"In my opinion the victim likely expired within seconds of being shot," Blomquist said.

Defense attorney Steve Chamberlain asked McLaurin about earlier testimony jurors had heard from Djuan Wade "Shawn" McLaurin. The defendant's son on Monday told jurors he was present when his father shot Boddie. Shawn McLaurin said that after shooting Boddie his father turned the gun on him and pulled the trigger, only to have the weapon malfunction.

McLaurin told jurors his son lied "because he wants everything I have ... for nothing."

While McLaurin claimed he acted in self defense when he shot Boddie, Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Josh Carp, in his closing arguments to jurors, said nothing in Ohio's self defense statute would exonerate his actions in that New Year's Eve incident.

"This was a murder, and it was not justified," Carp said.