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Council candidate Tony Dia convicted of fatal shooting as juvenile, claims self-defense and pressure to take plea deal

According to The Blade, Dia was charged with murder after 17-year-old Ivan Lambrecht, Jr. was shot once in the chest and died of his injuries on September 14, 1986.
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 11:11 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A new report from 13abc media partner The Toledo Blade released on Thursday has uncovered that Toledo City Council candidate Tony Dia was convicted of fatally shooting someone when he was a juvenile.

According to The Blade, Dia was charged with murder after 17-year-old Ivan Lambrecht, Jr. was shot once in the chest and died of his injuries on September 14, 1986. Dia was 16 at the time.

Dia would plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to a minimum of at least one year in the juvenile system. He was released in September of 1987.

Dia is running against City Councilor Katie Moline for one of Toledo’s At-Large seats, vacated earlier this year by Sandy Spang. He is the father of fallen police officer Anthony Dia, who was killed in the line of duty on July 4th of this year.

Dia has faced some controversy during his run, including questions about his past as the owner of a local strip club, which he recognized in his campaign announcement and which 13abc’s Lee Conklin asked about during a one-on-one interview for Conklin and Company.

Dia’s campaign issued the following statement:

"In a last minute attempt to discredit Tony Dia’s winning campaign for council and destroy his lead in the polls, the Toledo Blade is clearly partnering with the Moline campaign to dig up decades old sealed court records, possibly illegally.

We would have appreciated the opportunity to tell our side of the story, but unfortunately Tony was contacted via text message at 9:19 am for a story that was published at 9:21 am this morning.

Because we were not afforded the same opportunity as the Moline campaign to tell our story via the Blade, we will do so now:

In 1986, a young Muslim immigrant and his friends were attacked on the North End of Toledo. In the course of that attack, that young man, Tony Dia, fired in self defense.

During the investigation into that incident, Tony was pressured into a plea deal, which he took rather than risk the rest of his life at the hands of a criminal justice system that is stacked against men like him.

This is a story that takes place in America every day. It is a story that is very often not covered in the media or understood by the general public. And now it is a story that is being used by Katie Moline, corrupt Democrats and our city’s paper of record to smear an immigrant, small business owner, and Toledoan who’s only current crime is running against the Good Ole Boys Club in One Government Center."

Councilwoman Moline tells 13abc that she had no knowledge of the content’s of The Blade’s report until after it was published and denies that her campaign had any involvement in the article.

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