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YOUNGSTOWN And the beat goes on --drivers face charges again



Published: Thu, August 2, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A man convicted last month of two loud-music offenses was cited again.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Jamar A. Jones no longer has three loud-music charges pending in municipal court.

Now he has four.

Police cited the 27-year-old Compton Lane man June 18, 20 and 24. He pleaded innocent -- at two arraignments -- and has a pretrial hearing set for Aug. 9 on those three charges before Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly.

Police stopped Jones' 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- with the vanity license plate that reads "20 INCH" -- Tuesday on Elm Street on the North Side and cited him on a loud-music charge. Arraignment on the new charge is Wednesday before a magistrate.

Last October, Jones pleaded no contest to a reduced loud-music charge, and Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. found him guilty and fined him $100, which he paid.

A second conviction for Jones means up to six months in jail, a mandatory $500 fine and possible forfeiture of his vehicle's sound equipment.

Third and subsequent convictions carry penalties of up to six months in jail, a mandatory $600 fine and mandatory forfeiture of the sound equipment.

Jones wasn't the only man police cited Tuesday on a loud-music charge.

Also charged: Mark S. Lett, convicted of two loud-music offenses in July, was expected in municipal court later today for arraignment on his third charge.

When charged, the 34-year-old New Castle man, who also gave police a West Indianola Avenue address, complained to the officers that "a black man can't even go to the gas station in Youngstown."

Patrolmen David Santangelo and Russell Davis had heard loud music on Market Street and approached Lett at the BP gas station at Midlothian Boulevard.

The officers later asked that a detective check out Lett's driving status.

They question how he could have a valid Pennsylvania license when he has a Youngstown address and his Ohio license is under suspension. His vehicle, a 1994 GMC Suburban, has California license plates.

Lett made news last month when The Vindicator reported that the city's new bike patrol officers who cited him on a loud-music charge at the Shell gas station on Market Street discovered that he also had a warrant out for his arrest. The warrant was for his first loud-music citation.

After Lett reached a plea agreement July 2 with John A. Regginello, an assistant city prosecutor, Magistrate Anthony J. Sertick allowed Lett to plead no contest to both loud-music charges at the same time and treated both as minor misdemeanors. Lett received a $50 fine on the first charge and a $100 fine on the second.

Magistrates cannot impose jail time.

Had the cases been assigned to a judge and handled separately, Lett's second conviction would have meant the possibility of jail and the mandatory $500 fine.

The jailable offense also would have placed Lett's probation, which he received from Judge Kobly, in jeopardy. He's on probation until October on an unrelated drug-abuse conviction.

Aside from the six months he faces in jail, if convicted now of a third loud-music offense, Judge Kobly could reimpose the 30 days in jail she suspended when she placed him on probation.

Third charge: The third man charged Tuesday, Joel D. Martinez, 20, of Himrod Avenue was pulled over on Shehy Street on the East Side when police heard loud music coming from his 1988 Honda Civic.

Martinez was convicted of loud music Aug. 25, 2000, and again April 18. He will be arraigned on his third charge Wednesday by a magistrate.

He, too, left court after his second conviction without being given any jail time or fined the mandatory $500, records show. Lynn B. Griffith, a visiting judge, fined him $100.

meade@vindy.com




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