YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court has found 20-year-old Michael Sherman guilty of complicity to commit aggravated murder for the March 3, 2018 shooting death of Brandon Wareham, 18, in a driveway on Rhoda Avenue on the West Side.
Jurors, who were seated Monday before Judge Anthony D’Apolito, deliberated a total of four hours over two days before reaching their verdicts.
They also found Sherman guilty of complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit aggravated robbery with firearm specifications.
Sherman is one of three people charged with the death of Wareham, who prosecutors said was ambushed during a robbery for marijuana.
Mark Winlock, 20, is the person that police say fired the shot that killed Wareham.
Winlock has yet to be tried. Sullivan pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced to 14 years in prison. Sherman turned down a similar plea deal.
Sherman faces a possible minimum sentence of 23 years to life in prison.
Defense attorneys acknowledged Sherman was present but had no idea Wareham would be robbed or shot. Sherman testified in his own defense Thursday just before jurors heard closing arguments.
Prosecutors said that the plot to rob Wareham was actually hatched the night before he was killed. They said Winlock, Daniel Sullivan and the group of teens tried to rob other marijuana dealers the night before and they tried to get Wareham there then but he did not show up.
Sherman was not present the night before, but he did show up a short time before Wareham was killed.
Wareham was told to pull all the way into the drive and when he did, Sullivan and Winlock and Sherman rushed him from behind, but accounts differed as to how far behind the other two Sherman was. Sherman was also not armed.
Defense attorneys said Sherman never took part in the planning of any robbery and thought they were just going to steal the marijuana from Wareham, not actually rob him.