Clinkscale plea deal: 6 years?

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By John W. Goodwin Jr.


Keilan Clinkscale, 22, of Youngstown, originally charged with three counts of murder for two separate shootings — one in 2009 and two others in 2011 — likely will spend a total of six years in prison.

This week, Clinkscale entered into a plea agreement with Mahoning County prosecutors amending the murder charges against him in both cases to reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter, both with firearm specifications.

On Feb. 21, 2009, Melkanoe L. Bowman, 24, was shot in the head at a Delaware Avenue home. Police said the shooting was the result of a feud between Clinkscale of Coronado Avenue, his friends Ryan McGee, 22, Brandon T. Clinkscale, 24, and Charles C. Richardson, 24, and another group of individuals.

A county grand jury indicted Keilan Clinkscale, and the other three men, in February 2009 on charges murder and discharging a gun into Bowman’s North Side residence.

While out on bond awaiting trial on those charges related to Bowman’s death, police said Clinkscale was involved in two homicides on the North Side two years later.

On Aug. 6, 2011, officers responded to gunshots fired at a Wirt Street residence.

When they arrived, they found Jasmon Reeder, 19, of Superior Street, shot in the head. Oscar Teague, 56, owner of the house, was found shot in the back. Both men died as a result of their injuries.

Clinkscale was indicted on two counts of murder with firearm specifications and for illegal possession of a weapon for those shootings.

Nicholas Brevetta, an assistant county prosecutor, said prosecutors, under the terms of the plea agreement, will recommend a four-year prison term, plus two years for the gun specifications.

If the recommendation is accepted by the court, Clinkscale will spend a total of six years in prison for all the charges against him.

Brevetta said prosecutors decided to enter into the plea agreement after looking at the evidence in the cases.

“We decided to do this due to the lack of physical evidence and the eyewitness testimony,” he said. “We knew he [Clinkscale] was shot in the leg at the scene [of one of the homicides], but we had nothing to put a weapon in his hand or to tie him directly to the crime. ... It was just more important to get him off the street.”

Judge John M. Durkin of common pleas court will sentence Clinkscale, who is defended by Atty. Anthony Meranto, on April 10.

Judge Durkin does not have to follow the sentencing recommendation offered by prosecutors.

Quentin T. Jones, 23, of Jackson Street, a co- defendant in the 2011 murder case, is still awaiting trial.

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