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TRUMBULL COUNTY Man, lawyer debate prison deal in court



Published: Fri, April 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant wanted the deal, but his lawyer got him more time to think about it.

WARREN -- Lyndal Kimble and his lawyer stood before Judge W. Wyatt McKay and differed over whether to accept a four-year prison deal for drug possession and other charges.

The judge gave them until Wednesday to make up their minds, or go to trial the following week. The second day in court this week for Kimble ended on an uncertain note after more than two hours of negotiating the deal.

"It is my understanding ... that offer has been rejected." Judge McKay said. Diane Barber, assistant prosecutor, also said the plea was turned down.

But Kimble, standing beside his lawyer Richard Olivito, responded, "Yeah, I'll accept the deal."

Kimble's arrest received national attention over his allegation of police brutality.

Charges

Kimble, 30, of Kenilworth Ave. Southeast, pleaded guilty Feb. 15 to tampering with evidence and possession of cocaine, both felonies, as trial on those charges was about to begin. He faces one to three years in prison on those charges.

Kimble also faces additional charges of trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs. Prosecutors are offering a deal in which Kimble would plead to the new charges, and then the cases would be combined. Prosecutors would recommend Kimble receive four years in prison.

Olivito told Judge McKay that he hasn't been able to advise his client regarding charges from a recent drug raid and that Kimble would be "making a plea consideration in a vacuum of evidence."

The judge, trying to keep things straight, asked again: "The point is, you're rejecting the offer?"

"No, your honor, I'm not rejecting the plea," Kimble replied.

"Look, if you knowingly and voluntarily make a decision to accept the plea, we can do that," Judge McKay said.

"It's the best decision for me and my family to take the plea," the defendant responded.

The judge said he could recess the court and have the assistant prosecutor type up the plea agreement.

"Yes, type it up," Kimble said.

More time

Olivito then asked for a few more days, and withdrew an evidence suppression motion that he said could be brought up later at trial. The attorney has questions concerning a search police did at Kimble's house.

The matter concluded after the judge said the prosecution must give Olivito information about a confidential informant in the case by April 7 if it goes to trial. The plea agreement remains on the table until another hearing at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A traffic stop June 28, 2003, and Kimble's arrest were videotaped by a bystander and then shown to local and national broadcast networks. Warren police said Kimble swallowed a small amount of suspected drugs before resisting the officers who were trying to get him to spit the evidence.

Kimble has a federal lawsuit pending that states his constitutional rights were violated by police when he was arrested.




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