YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) —Judge Anthony D’Apolito said Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that $100 worth of marijuana split five ways doesn’t go very far.
For those involved in the March 3, 2018 shooting death of Brandon Wareham, however, the price they paid was enormous.
Wareham lost his life, and the three men charged in his death will all serve lengthy prison sentences for their roles.
One of those men, Michael Sherman, 20, of Wesley Avenue, was sentenced by Judge D’Apolito to 23 years to life in prison after a jury convicted him in February of complicity to aggravated murder and complicity to aggravated robbery with firearm specifications for Wareham’s death.
Prosecutors said Wareham was lured to the home by Mark Winlock and Daniel Sullivan, both 20, so they could buy marijuana from him. Winlock snuck up on Wareham and shot him while Wareham’s girlfriend was in the car with him.
Wareham backed the car out of the drive before he died.
Winlock pleaded guilty to murder and is expected to be sentenced to 18 years to life in prison later this summer. Sullivan’s pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 14 years.
Prosecutors twice offered Sherman the same offer they made to Sullivan, but he refused to take it. He claims he did not think Wareham would be robbed and killed.
Julie Householder spoke on behalf of the family, saying that they are struggling with why he had to die.
“The why will never be answered,” Householder said.
She wanted to make sure Judge D’Apolito knew that Wareham was loved by lots of people.
“Brandon wasn’t just a kid from the streets that no one ever cared about,” Householder said.
Sherman said he was sorry Wareham died, but he maintained his innocence. Earlier one of his lawyers, Tom Zena, said Wareham did not understand how the complicity law works in Ohio.
“Hopefully, when the truth comes to light, we’ll all have some peace to weather this situation,” Sherman said.
Judge D’Apolito said the case is one of the saddest he has tried because of the ages of all involved and the fact it was over a paltry sum of marijuana. Two juveniles also served time for Wareham’s death.
The minimum sentence for complicity to aggravated murder is 20 years and the firearm specification is three years.