Judge refuses to terminate man’s probation early

By Peter H. Milliken



A man convicted of illegally possessing explosive-making chemicals in his South Side residence will remain on probation until next March, a judge ruled.

Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday overruled a motion by Randall Telshaw, who has more recently been living with relatives in Canfield, to cancel the remainder of his probation.

Judge Durkin had sentenced Telshaw, 58, to two years’ probation March 4, 2010, after a jury convicted Telshaw of possessing those chemicals in his Ferndale Avenue residence June 29, 2006.

“He has led a law-abiding life with the arguable exception of this incident, and he plans to continue doing so,” wrote Telshaw’s Cleveland lawyer, Eric Norton, in his motion to terminate Telshaw’s probation.

Telshaw had no criminal convictions before the explosives charge was filed and has had no arrests since then. His probation officer did not oppose the termination request, Norton added.

Telshaw has complied with all terms of his probation and sentence, including undergoing a mental- health evaluation, making $914 in restitution to the Youngstown Fire Department, paying $610 in court costs and completing 200 hours of community service, Norton said.

Norton said Telshaw wanted his probation to be terminated early because he wants his conviction to be expunged. State law requires him to wait three years after his discharge from probation before he can apply for expungement, Norton said.

“His compliance does not entitle him to early termination. Defendant is merely doing what this court ordered him to do,” Jennifer L. McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, wrote in her memorandum in opposition to termination.

“Defendant must be monitored for the full two years to ensure that his dangerous and illegal behavior does not start again. ... The ability to monitor defendant is critical to ensuring that he is no longer putting people at risk,” McLaughlin argued.

McLaughlin cited Fire Capt. Kevin Johnson’s trial testimony that the chemicals, “if ignited, could evaporate a one-half-block radius and cause damage extending for five miles.”

Police also found explosive-making manuals, a bazooka, rockets and firearms in Telshaw’s residence, evacuated the neighborhood and seized and destroyed the chemicals, McLaughlin said.

The 7th District Court of Appeals affirmed Telshaw’s conviction June 29, McLaughlin added.

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