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Prosecutors challenge truth of memo in crash killing 4 Marines

Published: Sat, June 23, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Ed Runyan



An assistant Trumbull County prosecutor has asked Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for a hearing Monday to talk about what he believes are inaccuracies in the sentencing memorandum for former truck driver Donald P. Williams Jr.

Williams, 46, of Austintown, is set to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the deaths of three Marine Corps recruits in an accident on the state Route 5 Bypass just west of Warren on March 31, 2010.

Mike Burnett, assistant prosecutor, said in a filing Thursday that it appears that the sentencing memorandum Atty. J. Gerald Ingram filed with the court last week contains several inaccurate statements.

For example, the memorandum says Williams’ mother went to prison for robbery when Williams was very young and that his father was unable to care for him because he suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving in Vietnam.

Burnett, upon learning that Williams’ mother was disputing these claims in an interview with a reporter for television station WKBN, asked Gary Hetzel, an investigator with the prosecutor’s office, to check into it.

Hetzel “confirmed that she has never been arrested for, or convicted of robbery and has never been to prison,” Burnett said.

Williams’ mother also told the reporter and Hetzel that Williams’ father was in the military but was stationed in Florida during the war and never served overseas.

Hetzel is still researching these and other claims, Burnett said.

Ingram did not return a phone call seeking a comment Friday.

“It is the position of the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office that a false presentation of facts concerning his family background to presumably gain some sympathy in sentencing is a serious, if not criminal matter,” Burnett said.

Burnett said he is assessing whether any facts obtained at this point should be used to amend the state’s recommendation on sentencing for Williams.

The prosecutor’s office recommended that Williams serve 18 years in prison. Ingram recommended 61/2 years.

Williams pleaded guilty earlier to three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, three counts of aggravated vehicular assault, three counts of vehicular assault, and one count of drug possession.

As of Friday morning, Judge Logan had not scheduled a hearing on the matter.


1michael1757(423 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

He had drug's in his system,what difference does it make how he was raised?

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2nuganuech(46 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

What a POS!! He should get extra time for lying and slandering his own family. And his slimy lawyer should go with him. Dirtbags.

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3fcb(417 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

This has taken over two years. I still remember hearing the story on TV and see the crosses and flowers piled high next to the scene where it happened. Yet,the driver of the truck still remains free while the families of the young men still do not have closure. Now,the piece of garbage,Atty.Ingram,lies in statements to the court to help the driver get less time in prison. I think Atty.Ingram should be made to go to that scene on Rt.#5 and view those crosses and flowers every day.However after his actions I doubt it would make a difference to him.Slime balls like him can do things like that and go to sleep at night with out any problem. I place Attorneys like him on the low rung of the ladder.

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4CountryGirl51(221 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

He killed 4 people and had drugs in him !! Give him what is due !!! He should get the max. These guys were Marines and they had there whole life in front of them !

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