Drug robbery ended in murder
ELYRIA — Christopher Sartin will spend 18 years to life behind bars for the murder of Eddie Warner, but it’s not enough for Warner’s family.
Margaret Warner told county Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery that she wanted Sartin, 19, to spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting her son during a botched drug robbery.
“I want this done and out of my life,” she said as she sobbed while Sartin stood to one side, his face expressionless.
Asked if he had anything to say before he was sentenced, Sartin replied in a low voice.
“Nothing, your honor,” he said.
Sartin had been scheduled to go on trial for the March 26, 2006, shooting on Monday, but agreed to a plea bargain at the last minute. In exchange for prosecutors dropping aggravated murder charges against him and agreeing that he could serve the minimum sentence, Sartin pleaded guilty to murder, felonious assault, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.
As Sartin entered his plea, his family sobbed quietly in the back of the courtroom. They declined to comment as they left the county Justice Center.
Michael Duff, one of Sartin’s attorneys, said his client had made the right choice to take the plea.
“I had to do what’s best for my client,” he said.
Sartin would have had to offset testimony from Timothy Daley, 18, who was also charged in the shooting. Daley pled guilty earlier this year and received a 15-year prison sentence in exchange for his promise to take the stand against his friend.
Police have said the pair planned the robbery together and lured the 19-year-old Warner to West 14th Street and Oberlin Avenue in Lorain to sell them marijuana. Daley left Sartin behind to commit the robbery, armed with the .22-caliber pistol from which prosecutors say the single bullet was fired that killed Warner.
After he was shot, Warner drove away but crashed his Jeep Cherokee into a West 20th Street garage and died about 30 minutes later.
After the sentencing, Margaret Warner said she would have preferred if Sartin had been facing the death penalty, but said she understood that state law prevented it because both he and Daley were juveniles when the crime took place.
Despite telling Rothgery that she didn’t want to attend parole hearings for Sartin, Margaret Warner said she would.
“I’m going to keep him in there as long as I can,” she said. “I’m sentenced for life. This whole family is sentenced for life.”
The rest of the Warner family also was upset and complained that one of Daley’s brothers, who was never charged in the case, helped plan the robbery.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will said that brother backed out of the robbery plan and worked with police to help build a case against Daley and Sartin.
Will said he understood why the Warners wanted Sartin to get a longer sentence.
“They’re hurting because they’ve lost a loved one,” he said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.