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YOUNGSTOWN Man goes to jail for shooting his friend



Published: Wed, February 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant also received time for resisting arrest and trespass.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Thomas V. Owens was sentenced to six months in jail for accidentally shooting his friend to death.

Owens, 22, of Woodland Avenue, had pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the Dec. 28, 2004, shooting death of Richard E. Owens, 41, of Worthington Street. The men were not related.

Tuesday, Municipal Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly sentenced Thomas Owens to 180 days in jail and gave him credit for 43 days served.

The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail. She also placed him on two years' probation.

Thomas also had pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and trespass, both of which occurred at St. Elizabeth Health Center after the shooting.

On the resisting charge, Judge Kobly sentenced Thomas to 60 days in jail to run concurrent to the 180 days. No jail time was given for the trespass charge.

Thomas Owens said he and his friend had been drinking and, when he went to move a gun off the couch, it went off, Detective Sgt. Gerry Maietta has said. Thomas Owens took Richard Owens to St. Elizabeth's. The shooting victim, bleeding from the head, later died.

Thomas Owens first had told police he saw Richard Owens walking in the Kenmore Avenue area and brought him to the hospital. Medical staff told police that test results showed that possibly two bullets entered the victim's skull near the hairline of the forehead. The emergency room doctor said the victim would not have been walking with that type of injury.

The detective said Thomas Owens had 16 rocks of crack cocaine on him when questioned after the shooting. At arraignment in municipal court, bond was set at $18,500 on charges of aggravated trafficking in cocaine, resisting arrest and trespassing, the clerk's office said. The drug charge was bound over to a Mahoning County grand jury.

Records also show that Thomas Owens has an unrelated felony drug charge that was bound over to a Mahoning County grand jury last year.




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