YOUNGSTOWN Punch brings jail time
Nelson said he snapped when another resident pulled a chair out from under him at CCA.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A fight over a scooted chair landed a city man in jail for 60 days.
Jeffrey C. Nelson, 23, of Phelps Street, was placed on probation for one year in June after pleading guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges of aggravated menacing and unauthorized use of a computer.
He used a computer at Youngstown State University to send an e-mail message to Louisiana Gov. Michael Foster, threatening to "hunt down and kill" him if the New Orleans Saints were allowed to move to another state. Nelson is a fan of the team.
As part of his probation, Judge James C. Evans ordered Nelson to seek treatment at Community Corrections Association on Market Street. It was in the final days of the treatment that he got into a fight and violated terms of his probation.
Altercation: Nelson said he'd gotten into an argument with another CCA resident that day. The resident had a history of picking on him, and had spent much of that day pushing him around, Nelson said.
When the other resident pulled a chair out from under Nelson as he was sitting down, Nelson snapped and punched the man, he said.
"A human can only accept so much tormenting and mocking and stuff like that," he said.
Nicholas Palazzo of CCA said a staff member heard the ruckus, turned and saw Nelson punching the other man, but did not see the incident with the chair.
Illness: Defense lawyer Paul Conn has said that Nelson has a history of mental illness, though a psychiatric evaluation showed he was mentally competent to stand trial.
At Thursday's hearing, Conn said Nelson "needs serious help," but will be all right as long as he takes prescribed medication. Nelson, however, said taking medicine is against his religion. He follows Wicca, which practices witchcraft.
Assistant Prosecutor Jay Macejko said Nelson's probation will end when his time in the county jail is up, even though he would not have been on probation a full year.
Judge Evans cautioned Nelson about engaging in any further illegal computer activity after he's released from jail.
"If you get any pipe dreams about doodling on a computer, you'll end up right back here, I can tell you that," the judge said.