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Man gets 18 months, faces additional time



Published: Fri, July 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Donald Thompkins drew consecutive sentences partly because of a long juvenile record, a judge said.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Donald Thompkins is going to prison for 18 months, and he still faces additional time behind bars on a pending charge of involvement in gang activity.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court gave Thompkins, 18, who listed addresses on East Myrtle Avenue and Willow Street, six months for trafficking in cocaine and one year for failure to appear. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

The judge said he decided on consecutive sentences because Thompkins has a lengthy juvenile record, has not responded favorably to rehabilitation attempts on the juvenile and adult court level, has been on probation, and was likely to commit future crimes. The judge also suspended Thompkins' driver's license for two years and ordered him to pay the court costs.

Thompkins pleaded guilty earlier this year to the trafficking and failure to appear charges. Patrick R. Pochiro, an assistant county prosecutor, and Atty. Mark Cervello, who represents Thompkins, worked out a plea agreement to reduce Thompkins' aggravated drug trafficking charge to drug trafficking.

Suspect bolted

In April, Thompkins ran from Judge Krichbaum's courtroom hallway to avoid arrest.

He had shown up late for a pretrial meeting on the drug trafficking charge. Judge Krichbaum, who let him out of the county jail through the early release mechanism to reduce the jail's inmate population, then ordered a warrant for his arrest.

When Thompkins appeared in the courtroom's hallway looking for his lawyer, the judge's staff notified deputies working the courthouse security detail to arrest him.

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

Deputies found him a few minutes later hiding on the floor of a vehicle parked at West Boardman and Market streets.

Thompkins also pleaded guilty to a charge of contempt of court in May, and the judge sentenced him to eight days in the county jail.

He faces an additional charge of engaging in a pattern of criminal gang activity, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum eight-year prison term.

Law enforcement officials say Thompkins and other adults and juveniles call themselves the South Side Soldiers, and authorities have accused them of stealing cars for fun and profit in the area of Pasadena and Dewey avenues in Youngstown and branching out into the Southern Park Mall and Movies 8 in Boardman Township.




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