LIBERTY Group protests court's handling of trust fund

James Goins is in prison for brutally beating and robbing three city residents.
LIBERTY -- About 25 people stood along Belmont Avenue outside the Holiday Inn MetroPlex this morning, carrying signs to protest what they said has been the unfair treatment of James Goins and his family in Mahoning County Probate Court.
Goins, 18, of East Indianola Avenue, is serving more than 85 years in prison after being convicted earlier this year in common pleas court of brutally beating and robbing three city residents, including an 83-year-old man, in January 2001.
Goins has a trust account funded with income from a wrongful death claim for his father. The fund was established in 1991 in Texas, where Goins' father died as a result of an industrial accident.
Because Goins was a juvenile when the fund was established, it is administered by the probate court.
Access denied
Charles Kershaw of Youngstown, who served as spokesman for the group, said Judge Timothy P. Maloney has denied Goins' family access to the money and has refused to let them see how it's being disbursed.
Judge Maloney was at a legal seminar this morning at the MetroPlex and was not available to comment. In the past, he has declined to comment on matters that are pending before him, citing judicial rules that prohibit him from doing so.
Atty. Damian Billak, who represented Goins at trial and is one of two attorneys handling his appeal, said Judge Maloney has done nothing wrong. "The family may not think so, but he's followed the law and made decisions that are in the best interest of James Goins," Billak said.

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