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Man is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter

Published: Thu, February 7, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.

‘This is the worst form of the offense,’ a prosecutor says.

YOUNGSTOWN — Allen K. Frost faces six to 13 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter with a firearm specification in the shooting death of Gregory Sopher last Oct. 27.

After three hours of deliberations at the end of a three-day trial, the seven-woman, five-man jury rendered its verdict Wednesday afternoon before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Frost, 37, of Crandall Avenue, would have faced 18 years to life in prison had he been convicted on the original charge of murder with a gun specification, which alleged he purposely killed Sopher. The lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, on which Frost was convicted, states that the death occurred after provocation from the victim.

“I can’t say that I agree with them, but I respect their opinion. It’s a difficult position they’re in,” Robert J. Andrews, assistant county prosecutor, said of the jurors.

Saying he doesn’t believe Frost was provoked, Andrews said he’s recommending a 13-year prison term for Frost when he is sentenced at 11 a.m. March 21. “I believe that this is the worst form of the offense. He pointed a gun at Greg Sopher and said, ‘You don’t believe I’m going to do this, do you?,’’’ before firing, Andrews said.

The prosecution said Frost shot Sopher, 18, of Canfield, in the head with a .38-caliber revolver at close range and deliberately killed him after Sopher lost a bet on a video game to Frost in Frost’s residence. Frost shot Sopher because he took offense after Sopher inquired why he was missing all of his money, not just the $50 he had lost in the bet, Andrews told the jurors.

However, Martin E. Yavorcik, the defense lawyer, said Sopher, who had gone to Frost’s residence to buy and use drugs, became extremely upset and belligerent after losing the game and challenged Frost to fight.

Frost, who was weakened by a stroke, wanted none of that, ordered Sopher to leave and pulled the pistol, which discharged, Yavorcik said. Frost did not intend to kill Sopher, Yavorcik told the jury.

“It’s a just verdict. I think that the jury took into consideration everything — all the facts — and they came to the right decision. We admitted that the crime occurred,” Yavorcik said.


1dthornburg(1 comment)posted 8 years ago

The verdict was unbelievable to hear, after being in the courtroom for the entire trial. The defense had only one witness, the defendant, whom they portrayed as a disadvantaged, disabled, scared individual who "was forced to sell drugs" for a living, as quoted by Allen Frost himself. He had a 12 year old daughter living with him whom he had to support. However, he was admittedly running a crack house, and doing "15 drug runs a day, on average; that was a good day". Mr. Frost told of his stroke 3 years ago; but testified it was "mild" and certainly had no problem walking to the stand. Most down-and-out people don't turn to selling drugs to survive. Get a damned welfare card for your medicine. I will NEVER believe that he did not intend to kill Greg. As the prosecution proved, and also admitted by the killer, he was standing 5 feet away and aiming at his head. If he wanted to scare him, he had other options: he could have shot him in the leg or just fired a shot next to him. Greg had no gun. Mr. Frost testified he was afraid of Greg. Really. You can bet that he comes in contact with many scary characters buying drugs who have guns on them (as he testified he took his gun on his drug runs). If he's such a scardy-cat, how did he ever muster up the guts to go out in the most dangerous areas of Youngstown and deal drugs? It was murder. And what do you think Allen Frost will do when he gets out of prison in 6-13 years? He totally considered himself justified selling drugs; there was nothing else he could do to support his family. That's what everyone heard him say. If and when he ever gets out of prison, they better watch him close. I'd bet in a heartbeat that he'll be back at it, carrying guns again and living a life of crime. Also, the Youngstown Vindy's reporter Peter Milliken, did a terrific job of reporting what actually happened in that courtroom. However, The (Sharon) Herald's reporter, Patrick W. Connelly, did a poor job. When I read his rendition, I felt like he and I must have been in a different room. He said that the defendant's "out-of-body experience" caused him to pull the trigger. That's not what the testimony said. Allen Frost said that AFTER he (doesn't remember) pulling the trigger, THEN he felt like he was "outside of his body watching himself from above". Conveniently, Mr. Frost remembers minute details of everything that happened up until the second he pulled the trigger. Telling Greg "you don't think I'm really gonna do it, do ya?" Those were the last words Greg heard. He never had the chance to leave. The jury bought the sympathy card the defense played. I hope that the jury members never have to bury one of their unarmed kids after they get shot in the head at close range. What kind of message did this jury send? Cracking down on these drug dealers and getting them off the streets is the first step in cleaning up a drug infested area. They were sympathetic to a murdering drug dealer. Unbelievable.

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