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YOUNGSTOWN Man gets jail in '98 shooting



Published: Tue, May 7, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The sentencing was delayed because of another case.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- More than two years after he pleaded guilty, Nelson Franklin was sentenced to prison for his role in a 1998 shooting that left one man dead and three injured.

Franklin, 26, of East Ravenwood Avenue, was sentenced to nine years in prison by Judge Robert Lisotto of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

It's the same sentence that was recommended in a plea agreement between Franklin's lawyer and the county prosecutor's office.

The long delay before sentencing was because Franklin's sentence depended on his cooperation with prosecutors in their case against a codefendant, Tawhon Easterly.

Pleaded guilty

Easterly, 23, of Florencedale Avenue, pleaded guilty in April to one count of involuntary manslaughter and three counts of felonious assault. Judge Lisotto sentenced him to nine years in prison.

With that case resolved, prosecutors could move forward with Franklin's sentencing, said Assistant Prosecutor Robert Andrews.

Franklin originally had been charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder. As part of the plea agreement, the charges were reduced to complicity to involuntary manslaughter and three counts of felonious assault.

The charges against both men stemmed from the October 1998 killing of Clinton Longmire III, 18, of Elm Street, who was shot in his car on Martin Luther King Boulevard, on the city's North Side.

Police said Easterly was riding in a van driven by Franklin. Their vehicle pulled up next to one in which Longmire was riding, and Easterly opened fire. Authorities said Longmire was wearing a bulletproof vest, but was shot in the head.

Three other men in the car were wounded by the gunfire, which was the reason for the felonious assault charges.

Defense attorney Paul Conn said Franklin was cooperative with authorities and deserved to have the recommended sentence imposed. Under Ohio law, the judge has the final say on sentencing, so he could have imposed more years.

bjackson@vindy.com




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