Larry Sly said he kept a gun in his East Side home to protect his children.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Larry Sly removed his dark glasses as a judge Mahoning County Common Pleas Court considered his fate.
The eyes showed what the 46-year-old city man and his lawyer argued: He was blinded in May 2001 after his brother-in-law smashed him in the eyes with a combination lock.
That's why Sly, seven months later, shot the brother-in-law when he again tried to attack him in December, this time with a beer bottle, said defense attorney Thomas Zena.
Sly pleaded guilty in May to a charge of aggravated assault for shooting Keith Martin, now 21, who Zena said recovered from the wound.
Judge James C. Evans sentenced Sly on Friday to serve three years of community control sanctions, with conditions that he report to a parole officer and continue anger management courses. He had faced up to 18 months in jail.
Martin did not appear in court. He was sentenced to serve 20 days of a 180-day jail sentence in Youngstown Municipal Court in June for the assault on Sly. Court documents show that he punched Sly in the right eye. The documents list addresses for him on East Indianola and East Florida avenues.
Assistant Prosecutor Jay Macejko said that police reports show that Sly had been blinded in one eye during a vehicle battery accident before the assault.
Sly appeared in court with his wife of nearly 10 years, Lynette, Martin's sister. He said he kept a gun in his Park Heights home on the East Side to protect his six children, ages 7 to 14.
Zena said Sly and his wife had been tormented by Martin, who had "relentlessly been aggressive toward hurting" the couple. Zena said the man forced his way into their home, refused to leave and struck Sly on the head with a 40-ounce beer bottle.
The couple said they have moved to a different part of the city to avoid Martin. Lynette Sly filed for two civil protection orders against her brother, in February and March. Both were effective for several days but dismissed after police were unable to find the man and serve the orders.