Plea deal angers mother of victim Melesia Day
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
The mother of a shooting victim said she is appalled that the man who killed her daughter is getting only 10 years in prison.
In May, Patrell Scott, 22, pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence in the June 2011 death of Melesia Day, 20, his girlfriend and mother of his child.
Melissa Floyd, mother of the victim, expressed her feelings Wednesday about the sentence Scott received in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
“I am appalled. This is not justice. People get more time for selling drugs than murder,” she said. “He [Scott] got almost as much time for having a gun as he did for killing my daughter. The laws have got to change.”
Judge James C. Evans, calling Scott’s actions leading to Day’s death “foolish and nonsensical,” sentenced Scott to four years for the involuntary manslaughter charge, three years for tampering with evidence and another three years for using a gun in the commission of the crime, for a total 10-year sentence.
The maximum prison time Scott could have received for the charges was 11 years.
Scott maintains the shooting was accidental.
A grand jury indicted him on an involuntary manslaughter charge at the first-degree felony level, but the prosecution agreed to reduce that to the third-degree felony level in the plea agreement. The tampering charge pertains to Scott’s concealment of firearms to impede the homicide investigation.
Day was shot in the neck at her Tyrell Street home on the West Side on June 23, 2011. She was on life support for six days before dying in the hospital.
“We watched her fight for her life for six days, never regaining conscious or coming out of her coma,” Floyd told the court just before Scott’s sentencing. “My daughter was a loving and caring individual. ... She was about to start nursing school. She had goals and a future, and that was all taken away from her by Patrell Scott’s actions.”
Floyd told the court she is now caring for her granddaughter, who still cries out for her mother at night.
Scott, when asked if he cared to make a statement, at first told the judge he did not, but he eventually apologized to Day’s family after the judge asked him a second time if he had anything to say.
Scott’s attorney, James Lanzo, asked the court to impose a four-year sentence on his client, saying Scott is remorseful for his actions that caused Day’s death.
“It is a sad and tragic case. My client was dumb. He had a loaded gun in his house, it discharged and killed the love of his life and ruined his family. ... He is extremely remorseful,” Lanzo said.
Judge Evans noted that Scott had been in trouble with the law for issues concerning a firearm. He then handed down the 10-year sentence.
Scott will be given credit for the time he has spent in the county jail waiting for the case to be resolved.