LIMA — Less than a week after rejecting a motion that would have allowed a Lima man to withdraw his pleas to charges of kidnapping and felonious assault, Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed on Monday sentenced Marquavius Shurelds to 39 years in prison on those charges.
Shurelds claimed the judge, prosecutor and detective who investigated his case were all biased against him and had violated his constitutional rights.
Shurelds, 29, was indicted by a grand jury in February 2019 on three counts of kidnapping, three counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated robbery. On the morning of his jury trial in late June, Shurelds pleaded no contest to five of the seven charges against him: two counts of felonious assault, two counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated robbery. All the counts included three-year firearm specifications.
Less than a month later he asked the court to be allowed to withdraw those pleas on the basis of ineffective legal counsel. Judge Jeffrey Reed denied the motion.
Prosecutors claim Shurelds took part in an elaborate scheme to rob a Lima couple on Dec. 2, 2018. According to court documents, Shurelds conspired with Kiarris Laws, 27, of Lima, to rob Dequaisha Wilson and Alonzo Williams in an apartment at The Village, a complex at 1510 Bradfield Drive in Lima. The woman reportedly was forced inside the apartment by Shurelds, had her head covered with a blanket and was told she would be killed if she did not cooperate. A young child shared by Wilson and Williams was also present.
A representative from Allen County Crime Victim Services read aloud a letter from Wilson in court Monday. She said that since the incident “my life has changed dramatically. I am constantly watching my back and I don’t feel safe taking my child any place,” Wilson wrote. “Having a gun pointed at me and my son was terrifying. Everything changed on that day. I still don’t eat; I don’t sleep. I just want (Shurelds) to be put away for as long as possible.”
Calling himself “a great person with a big heart,” Shurelds said his rights had been denied by a judge and a prosecutor “who already had their minds made up” about how the case would be resolved.
“I knew I wouldn’t get a fair trial,” Shurelds said. “Judge Reed and Detective (Steve) Stechschulte and Prosecutor (Tony) Miller are all very biased against me.”
Laws was sentenced to 54 years in prison for his role in the incident.
Shurelds still faces charges of discharging a firearm on or near a prohibited premise, a first-degree felony, and felonious assault with a five-year “drive-by shooting” specification and a three year firearm spec, a felony of the second degree. Shurelds is accused of attempting to cause physical harm to Xavier Scott by means of a deadly weapon in that incident.