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Columbus Teen Sentenced On Multiple Charges Following Officer-Involved Shooting Death Of Boyfriend

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A judge Friday sentenced a Columbus teen to three years in a youth correctional facility for her role in an attempted robbery last year that authorities say led to a police officer shooting and killing her boyfriend.

17-year-old Masonique Saunders pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last May, but  was sentenced on a lesser charge along with an aggravated robbery charge in a plea deal.  Authorities say 16-year-old Julius Tate Junior was killed after brandishing a weapon at an officer conducting an undercover investigation of stolen goods. The two arranged a meeting last December, where Tate allegedly pointed a gun at the undercover officer. He was shot and killed by another officer. Prosecutors say Saunders played a role in the attempted robbery. Prosecutors say the same name and phone number used by Saunders and Tate had been used on at the same location where a woman with a child was robbed and pistol whipped. Supporters of Saunders say it was the officer who killed Tate and Saunders was improperly prosecuted. They have called for an independent investigation of Tate's death.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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