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Acquittal in Lucas County: Self-Defense Claim Leads to Not Guilty Verdict

TOLEDO, OHIO — In a seven-day trial, Vontae Garrett was acquitted of murder and other charges related to the 2022 death of Mark Wysinger in Lucas County. Garrett, defended by lawyer and State Rep. Josh Williams, claimed he shot Wysinger in self-defense at Crox’s Bar & Grill after Wysinger and his group became aggressive and followed Garrett’s party outside, eventually brandishing weapons. Key to the defense was a home surveillance video that purportedly showed the altercation, but which was allegedly lost by police. The video, according to Williams, contradicted police testimony and proved pivotal in convincing the jury of Garrett’s self-defense claim.

Wysinger died from complications related to a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide. While Garrett expressed relief at the verdict, citing the ordeal’s impact on his life, Williams highlighted the case’s influence on proposed legislative changes regarding self-defense evidence in Ohio. As Garrett moves to rebuild his life, a potential lawsuit against the Toledo Police Department for lost evidence is being considered, and another defendant, Allison Sherrie, faces related charges. The police declined to comment on the case or potential litigation.

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