The Journal Gazette
Monday, November 25, 2019 11:46 am

87 1/2-year term ordered in Lake Avenue barbershop slaying

Jim Chapman | The Journal Gazette

A man who shot and killed a barber outside his Lake Avenue shop in April was sentenced this morning to 87 1/2 years in prison.

A jury found James Dodson Jr., 35, guilty last month of murder and criminal recklessness in the shooting death of Michael LoVett Jr. April 9. Dodson also faced a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime.

Police said Dodson was a customer at The Legendary Barbershop on Lake Avenue near North Anthony Boulevard when he left the business around 5:30 p.m. and returned about a half-hour later. He was one of three men who confronted LoVett before the business owner was killed, according to court documents. Only Dodson was charged.

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tasha Lee said today the shooting stemmed from an argument about religion.

Seventeen shell casings were found at the scene, Lee said, and LoVett was shot multiple times, including "two kill shots" to the head and abdomen.

Dodson told Allen Superior Judge David Zent that LoVett provoked the attack by pulling a gun.

"They wanted to sweep that under the rug," Dodson said.

Zent said he found Dodson to be "the worst of the worst" before sentencing him to 87 1/2 years behind bars.

"I forgive him from my heart, but he needs to stay in prison forever," LoVett's mother, Debra Causey, told the judge. "He does not need to get out and hurt another family."

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