CLEVELAND, Ohio — A judge Wednesday handed down a life sentence to a man who killed the 74-year-old owner of a longstanding landscaping company in the city’s Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood.
Sedrick Hawkins will be eligible for parole after spending 15 years behind bars for the 2019 murder of Larry Manno.
Hawkins, 26, of Cleveland, pleaded guilty to murder and aggravated burglary charges. Prosecutors dropped aggravated murder and other charges that carried lengthier sentences in exchange for his plea.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Russo sentenced Hawkins.
Prosecutors tied Hawkins to the crime because of a can of Mike’s Hard Lemonade that was left inside the business, according to court records.
A co-worker found Manno lying in the Buckeye Road office just before 1 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019, with multiple injuries and footprints on the side of his white T-shirt, according to court records.
Manno’s pockets were also turned inside out. The worker heard someone rummaging around the office and confronted the person, who ran out the door and away from the building, court records say.
The worker called 911, and EMTs took Manno to a hospital, where he was treated for a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a broken cheek bone, police said. Manno later caught pneumonia, went into septic shock and died in October from complications of his injuries.
Investigators found a can of Mike’s Hard Lemonade in a paper bag, as well as a knife, in the office, records say.
They later found surveillance video that showed Hawkins buying the alcoholic beverage minutes before the slaying. Hawkins identified himself in the video and said he knew Manno from the neighborhood, but he initially denied ever setting foot in the landscaping office, records say.
Prosecutors said DNA taken from the drink can and the knife both matched Hawkins’ DNA.
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