Toledo woman sentenced to prison for fatally shooting man who burglarized her home

Aug. 16—Family members of Milton Roberts asked a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge for the maximum prison term Monday for a Toledo woman who shot the man multiple times as he allegedly burglarized her home.

Robert's older sister, Lorena Roberts, asked Judge Ian English on Monday to sentence Laniesha Walls, 25, to a maximum term of 17 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting the man multiple times at her apartment in the 1400 block of Norwood Avenue on June 22, 2020.

Roberts later died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Lucas County Coroner's Office.

"An angry, young woman with a gun doesn't think rationally," Ms. Roberts said on Monday. "She had shot him once but her anger wanted him dead. As he lay wounded, Ms. Walls hovered over him and shot him again, multiple times. And then she left the scene, leaving him dead on the sidewalk. No attempt to seek help, no remorse for what she did.

"Ms. Walls, in my opinion, is a cold-blooded killer and does not deserve any more breaks," Ms. Roberts added, claiming her brother's life had more meaning than the agreed-upon sentence of six years in prison.

The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office consulted with Mr. Roberts' son, Milton Roberts Jr., throughout the case and he previously OK'd the terms of the plea agreement on behalf of the victim's family, assistant county prosecutor Michael Bahner said on Monday.

Both Mr. Bahner and defense attorney Adam Stone agreed to go forward with the hearing and Judge English sentenced Walls on Monday to an indefinite term of 6 to 8 1/2 years in prison.

"I just want to apologize to the family," Walls said, hanging her head down throughout the proceedings.

Walls was facing murder charges, which could have landed her in prison for life. Last month, Walls pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a firearm specification. As part of the agreement, the state recommended a six-year sentencing cap.

The judge said he understood the family's frustration with Walls' sentence. However, updates to Ohio's law now requires prosecutors to prove a defendant did not act in self-defense, which is sometimes leading juries to an acquittal, he said.

"I have yet to see the impact of stand your ground but there have been more people acquitted in the past year or two years than I've seen in decades in this courthouse," Judge English said. "The calculation of the sentence is not based on the value of the victim — it's evidentiary concerns. It is obvious that happened here is wrong and Ms. Walls needs to be punished. It's not the punishment that gives value to the victim, it's the memory of the family that does."