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COURT Man jailed after being late for pretrial date



Published: Fri, April 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The South Side resident now faces more criminal charges.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Donald Thompkins made two mistakes Thursday.

He was late for his appearance in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, and then he ran from deputies summoned to arrest him.

Thompkins, 18, of East Myrtle Avenue, is in the county jail on misdemeanor charges of contempt of court and resisting arrest. Judge R. Scott Krichbaum ordered him to be held in jail without bond.

What happened

Court personnel gave the following details of the events that led to Thompkins' arrest:

Thompkins was due in court for a pretrial meeting at 9:30 a.m. with his lawyer, Mark Cervello, and Patrick R. Pochiro, an assistant county prosecutor. Thompkins originally was charged with cocaine trafficking, and his trial was to go forward May 4.

Thompkins was let out of the county jail on the charge April 6 through the early-release mechanism approved by the common pleas judges to reduce the jail's inmate population. The county's financial crunch caused the need for the early-release plan.

At that time, Judge Krichbaum ordered Thompkins to show up and be on time for any hearings scheduled on the trafficking charge. If he failed to do so, he would be charged with failure to appear and put back in the jail. He appeared on time for a pretrial hearing April 13, and his next court appearance was Thursday.

Cervello waited 40 minutes for Thompkins to arrive and made repeated calls to contact him. The defense lawyer left, and Judge Krichbaum ordered a bench warrant for Thompkins' arrest.

Five minutes after Cervello left, Thompkins came to the judge's courtroom hallway looking for Cervello. Court personnel notified deputies working security detail at the courthouse to come to the court to arrest him.

When deputies arrived and attempted to put Thompkins in handcuffs, he ran out of the hallway, somehow eluded deputies and got out of the courthouse.

Deputies hurried outside and began looking for him. Deputies John DeMart and Gary Shane found him a few minutes later hiding on the floor of a vehicle parked at West Boardman and Market streets.




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