By PETER H. MILLIKEN
One of several men convicted in the severe beating of an Austintown man in a Campbell home in 2008 has been placed on work release from the county jail, and his retired father will remain jailed until the judge decides what to do with him.
On Friday, Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court granted a defense request to allow Joseph R. Perry Jr., 41, of Peters Drive, Campbell, to leave jail for his work shifts at General Motors in Lordstown and return to jail daily after work.
The judge made this ruling after Ben Strickland, shop chairman for United Autoworkers Local 1112, said Perry would lose his job if he doesn’t return to work Monday.
Strickland described Perry as an “excellent worker” who has been employed at GM since 1995.
Perry’s lawyer, Anthony P. Meranto, who made the request, said his client is the sole supporter of four children.
Judge D’Apolito said he was “mindful of the economic times of my community.” The younger Perry has a job “in a climate where having employment is a luxury, almost,” Judge D’Apolito added.
The judge said he would soon decide whether to release Perry’s father, Joseph R. Perry Sr., 63, of Tenney Avenue, Campbell, a GM retiree, after Robert E. Bush Jr., assistant county prosecutor, said he doesn’t oppose the elder Perry’s release and doesn’t believe he’ll be a repeat offender.
The elder Perry’s release from jail was sought by his lawyer, John F. Shultz.
In January, Judge D’Apolito sentenced the Perrys to five years’ probation, with the first year of it in jail, after they pleaded no contest to felonious assault and aggravated burglary.
At that time, he also put two other men, Mark A. Ziemianski, 27, of South Navarre Avenue, Austintown, and James C. Riley III, 26, of Harold Lane, Campbell, on two years’ probation, with the first 30 days in jail, after they pleaded no contest to felonious assault in the same incident.
Last June, Judge D’Apolito sentenced a fifth defendant in this case, Brandon T. Dotson, 26, of Selma Avenue, to a year’s probation after he pleaded no contest to attempted aggravated assault.
Charges against the men stemmed from the June 24, 2008, beating of Seth M. Leach, 34, in the Campbell home of Lori Perry, ex-wife of the younger Perry.
Leach suffered multiple cuts and bruises, and his jaw was broken in two places. After court, Leach said he wants the Perrys to serve their full year in jail.
The Perrys had warned Leach to stay away from Lori Perry and her children, police said.
The elder Perry recruited his son and the others to teach Leach a lesson, prosecutors said.