Final murder conviction brings closure to CrossFit community - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Final murder conviction brings closure to CrossFit community

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Joe Lengel Joe Lengel
Jake Grolle is one of a few members left at CrossFit Toledo, who was there when 57-year-old Joe Lengel owned the business.    Joe's death hit the CrossFit community hard back in November 2012.  He was gunned down during an attempted robbery in front of his gym in the early morning hours.

"I think about Joe all the time, everyday I come in here," says Grolle, who trained under Joe and now manages the gym.  "It's kind of strange because it's been so long but it feels like it was yesterday."

Devonte Harris, Chad Brown, Matthew Managhan and Jason Kuhns all plead guilty to the crime and already serving time for the crime.  The last suspect, Deitrekk Boone, was on the run for more than a year before he was captured back in December in Houston, Texas. 

According to the prosecutor, Boone was the first to confront Lengel, and then fired a gun twice at the victim.  Boone missed both times and one of the other men fired the fatal shot that killed Lengel.  Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Charles McDonald says they were looking to rob another man who they believed to be a drug dealer.

Finally on Thursday, a judge sentenced 21-year-old Boone to life in prison with the eligibility of parole after 41 years.

"As a whole, the CrossFit community in this area is pretty glad that this is done and over with," says Nate Hillman, who now owns Joe Lengel's old gym.  "I'm sure his family is glad some justice has been done."

Since his death, the South Toledo gym has more than tripled in size and new members are joining everyday.  Managers say Lengel's legacy is felt in their workouts and in their lives outside the gym, inspiring them to be better and push their goals to the limit.

"Joe I would think would be pretty impressed with what he sees here," says Hillman. "We still have a long way to go, but there's still a lot of opportunity to encourage people."

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