LIMA — A Lima man who was just two months removed from a 10-year prison stint when he took part in an armed robbery and kidnapping a year ago is heading back behind bars — this time potentially for more than 57 years.
Kiarris Laws, 28, was sentenced Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court after being convicted by a jury on Dec. 11 on one count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification, a first-degree felony; two counts of kidnapping, first-degree felonies with firearm specifications, each with three-year gun specs; and one count of having weapons under disability.
Judge Jeffrey Reed sentenced Laws to the maximum allowable 11-year prison terms on each of the first-degree felony charges. Added to each of those sentences were three additional years for the use of a firearm during the commission of the crime, and another three years on each count after Reed deemed Laws to be a Repeat Violent Offender under Ohio law for his prior conviction of a first-degree felony offense of violence.
Coupled with a three-year prison term for having a weapon as a convicted felon, Laws’ sentence totaled 54 years. Added to that was more than three more years of Post Release Control time for his commission of a felony while on probation.
All the charges were related to an incident that took place Dec. 2, 2018, in Apartment 63 in The Village, a complex at 1510 Bradfield Drive in Lima. Jurors deliberated for three hours before determining that Laws was part of an organized effort to rob and restrain Dequaisha Wilson, her infant son and Alonzo Williams at gunpoint.
Wilson told jurors that she and her infant son were held at gunpoint by Laws and Marquavius Shurelds inside the apartment of Lamont Jones as her son’s father, Alonzo Williams, lie injured and bleeding on the floor in what was described as a drug deal gone awry.
Wilson was present in court Monday and asked Reed to hand Laws the maximum prison sentence possible.
“Since December of 2018 my life has changed. I’m always watching my back and all sense of safety has been taken away from me,” Wilson said in a prepared statement. “Having a gun pointed at me and my son was terrifying. My sense of trust is gone.”
Speaking not only of Laws but of all the co-defendants in the case, Wilson added, “These men are a menace to society. I want them put away for as long as possible. Please give them what they deserve.”
That request mirrored one from Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca King-Newman. She told Reed a maximum sentence was justified and necessary.
“Mr. Laws cannot get given anything less than that,” King-Newman said. “The state asks for consecutive sentences so Ms. Wilson and her child will never have to face this defendant on the streets again.”
Marquavius Shurelds is scheduled to stand trial in June for his role in the robbery.