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AKRON, Ohio — An Akron man convicted of two counts of murder and several other charges for a 2018 fatal shooting in the parking lot of a restaurant has been sentenced to life in prison.

Bryan Esters, 35, will be eligible for paroled after serving 29 years, according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. A Summit County jury last week also found Esters guilty of two counts of felonious assault, one count of having weapons under disability, one count of carrying a concealed weapon, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Prosecutors say that on July 1, 2018, Sirvonte Rice and Andre Warren were arguing at Julian’s Restaurant on Pioneer Street. Rice’s cousins, Dominique Thomas and Monica Strickland, along with Tra’Shawn Beasley, arrived to meet Rice.

As Thomas and Beasley exited the car, Esters and Andre Warren began firing and struck Thomas, 31, three times, prosecutors say. Esters reportedly chased Thomas around the car and shot him four more times in the back at point-blank range while Thomas was on the ground.

Thomas died from seven gunshot wounds. Beasley was shot but survived. Strickland remained in the car and was not injured.

Warren and Esters fled the scene in separate cars. Authorities say Esters ran a stop sign and collided with another vehicle, but Warren picked up Esters and drove off. Warren was arrested in Canton in August 2018, while Esters was arrested in West Virginia in April 2020.

Warren was convicted on April 17, 2019, and currently is serving life in prison. He will be eligible for parole after 29 years.

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