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Youth accused of shooting pizza delivery driver

An exciting scene in San Juan, Costa Rica, in 2009.
An exciting scene in San Juan, Costa Rica, in 2009. cclements@mcclatchy.com

A 16-year-old boy is accused of fatally shooting a woman after she made her final pizza delivery in the city’s center late Tuesday.

Machello Jackson, 16, is charged with murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the death of Sadari Knighten, 28.

He is accused of robbing and shooting Miss Knighten shortly after 11 p.m. after she made a delivery to a residence in the 800 block of Hoag Street. She was an employee for Happy’s Pizza, friends and family said.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of Happy’s Pizza.

“On behalf of the entire Happy’s Pizza family and Franchise Owner Wally Yasso, we want to extend our deepest sympathies and prayers for comfort and healing to Sadari Knighten’s family, friends and loved ones,” Sherrie Handrinos, Happy’s Pizza spokesman said. “Sadari was not just a hard-working and valued employee of Happy’s Pizza, she was part of our family and this tragedy has left us all heartbroken.”

Miss Knighten later died at ProMedica Toledo Hospital, according to police. The Lucas County Coroner’s Office completed an autopsy Wednesday on Miss Knighten. Dr. James Patrick, the Lucas County coroner, said she died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. The death is an apparent homicide, with an official ruling pending toxicology tests, he said.

Toledo police Lt. Dan Gerken said he is not sure the exact amount of money the Jackson youth got away with, but he didn’t “believe it was very much.”

Lieutenant Gerken said investigators do not believe it is a gang-related incident.

“I’m not aware that he is in a gang or this is gang-related whatsoever,” he said.

Lieutenant Gerken declined to say if Miss Knighten was armed during the time of the incident.

The Jackson youth was arrested shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday near Western Avenue and Champion Street, Lieutenant Gerken said.

The boy, who is a freshman at Bowsher High School, appeared Thursday before Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge Connie Zemmelman. The judge ruled the juvenile would be held in the juvenile justice center.

Lori Olender, deputy chief of the juvenile division, said the incident appeared to be a random act.

Ms. Olender intends to file a certification for the youth to be tried as an adult.

He will appear for a pretrial hearing June 18.

A message was left for Miss Knighten’s family.

Toledo police continue to investigate.

“We are still following up on every avenue we can in on our investigation,” Lieutenant Gerken said.

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