Woman involved in cop altercation gets month in jail

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A 35-year-old city woman convicted earlier this year of obstructing official business and driving under suspension after a 2011 altercation with police has been sentenced to one month in jail and two years’ probation.

She won’t, however, enter Mahoning County jail right away.

Doretha Weston of Miller Street appeared Thursday for sentencing before Judge Robert P. Milich of Youngstown Municipal Court. Weston is the second woman sentenced in an altercation with Youngstown police officers Kevin Mercer and Patrick Mulligan.

Weston, after her sentencing hearing, asked the judge to delay her sentence until she has had time to file an appeal. The judge granted the motion.

Before being sentenced, Weston asked the judge for mercy.

“I want to sincerely apologize for my actions and any disrespect to this court,” she said. “I do have a great respect for the law and authority, and I just ask that you show mercy on me.”

Weston’s co-defendant 45-year-old Desiree Johnson of West Princeton Avenue, was sentenced to 330 days in jail, followed by three years’ probation and fined $650 for obstructing official business, resisting arrest and assault on the officers.

The officers pulled the women over in the 1700 block of Overland Avenue on March 30, 2011, because Weston failed to signal before turning, police said.

The officers said the women refused to show them their driver’s licenses or leave the car as ordered.

Mercer said he pulled Weston from her car and took her to the ground. He said Johnson dialed 911 to report that he was assaulting Weston and would not get off the phone or leave the car when told to do so.

Reports indicate Mulli- gan pulled Johnson from the car, and she threw punches, striking both officers.

The women have repeatedly said the officers attacked and beat them, and Johnson said one of the officers ripped her cellphone from her hand.

Atty. Robert Harvey, representing Weston, told the court his client was driving a car only the day of the traffic stop because she had taken a friend to the hospital. He said she became highly emotional thinking her co-defendant was being mistreated by the officers.

Harvey said Weston’s actions the day of the traffic stop were “squarely outside of how she lives her life.”

Harvey said Weston has become unemployed and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident.

Bassil Ally, an assistant city prosecutor, told the judge Weston deserved time in jail to think about what she has done. He pointed out Weston apologized to the court but has yet to apologize to the officers.

Judge Milich also ruled Weston must serve 80 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine.

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