Prosecutors recommended probation but the judge opted for jail.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A substitute educational assistant in the city school district will spend eight months in jail for terrorizing a woman.
Jerome Morgan, 26, of Forsythe Avenue, Girard, was sentenced Tuesday by Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
A school official said Morgan was put on the substitute aide list in December 2000 but hasn't subbed in several weeks.
Morgan worked with disabled pupils in the school district, said his lawyer, Joseph W. Gardner. At least two teachers wrote letters to Judge Krichbaum saying that Morgan is a good employee.
Morgan was originally charged in September 2000 with abduction and felonious assault, but pleaded guilty in May to reduced charges of unlawful restraint and assault. The reduced charges are misdemeanors.
In exchange for his plea, the prosecutor's office recommended that Morgan be placed on probation, but Judge Krichbaum refused to go along with it.
Here's why: He said Morgan has been in court on drug charges in the past and has been allowed to enter treatment programs instead of going to jail. Morgan asked for one more chance to turn his life around while on probation.
"I can't let you walk out of here with this type of conduct," he said. "You've had chance after chance before."
Judge Krichbaum sentenced Morgan to six months in the county jail for the assault charge and 60 days for unlawful restraint.
According to court records, Morgan and his former girlfriend were passengers in separate cars in the drive-through line of a fast-food restaurant in July 2000.
Morgan pulled the victim out of the car she was riding in and forced her into the car he was in. He then made a friend drive them around the city, ending up at the victim's home, where he assaulted her.