Out in jail emergency, man racks up charges
In June, the inmate qualified for emergency jail release and qualifies again.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Since January, Edward J. Thomas has been charged in four separate gun/car theft-related cases and now faces his fifth.
South Sider Thomas, 21, known on the streets as Roach, faces new charges this week of receiving stolen property (an Oldsmobile Alero stolen from Struthers) and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. His bond is $70,000; he remained in the Mahoning County jail Thursday pending emergency release.
The 564-bed jail, by federal court order, can hold no more than 296 inmates. In May, Thomas was booked into the jail on a gun charge but qualified for an emergency release in early June.
Sheriff Randall A. Wellington and Warden Alki Santamas said Thursday that Thomas qualifies, again, for emergency release on his own recognizance because the new charges are not violent crimes. The presiding judge of common pleas court, however, may order that Thomas be placed on electronically monitored house arrest, Santamas said.
Wellington said he would like to stop the emergency release of inmates but he must follow the federal court order. He called Thomas a prime example of inmates who get out and get arrested again.
If Thomas' new charges are bound over to a grand jury next week from municipal court, he'll have four separate cases pending in common pleas court and one at Mahoning County Area Court, Boardman.
Records show these cases pending at common pleas court:
UFrom January: Receiving stolen property (Chevrolet Caprice stolen from Niles) and possession of criminal tools. Bond is $7,500. Thomas was found to be indigent and received a court-appointed lawyer, Thomas Hough. The case is assigned to Judge James C. Evans.
UFrom February: Receiving stolen property (Buick LeSabre stolen from Liberty). Bond set at $100,000. Hough was appointed for this case, too. The case also is assigned to Judge Evans.
UFrom May: Carrying a concealed weapon (loaded .357-caliber Magnum). Bond set at $35,000. Court-appointed lawyer is Doug Taylor. The case is assigned to Judge Evans.
Records show this case pending at Mahoning County Area Court, Boardman:
UFrom April: Receiving stolen property (sound equipment from car break-in). Bond set at $2,000. Court-appointed lawyer is Bo Pritchard. The case is assigned to Judge Joseph M. Houser.
Thomas' adult criminal record began in May 2002, soon after he turned 18.
Municipal court records showed he was charged with receiving stolen property (a car) on May 20, 2002. The charge was amended to a misdemeanor a month later. He was given credit for 31 days served in jail and placed on a one-year probation.
In July 2002, Thomas again was charged with receiving stolen property (not immediately known). The charge was amended to a misdemeanor in October 2002. He was given credit for 24 days served in jail and placed on one year's probation, records show.
Sentenced to probation
In March 2003, Thomas again was charged with receiving stolen property (a car), but this time the felony charge was not reduced to a misdemeanor but bound over to common pleas court. Judge Maureen A. Cronin sentenced Thomas to three years' probation in November 2003.
Records also show that Thomas violated conditions of his probation in March 2004 and the judge imposed the original sentence of 18 months, giving him credit for 385 days served.