Man pleads guilty to lesser charge

Staff report


A 22-year-old Park Vista Drive man has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Tyrell Street woman in her residence last June 23.

Patrell M. Scott pleaded guilty to a reduced involuntary manslaughter charge with a firearm specification in the death of Melesia Day, who was shot in the neck with a .40-caliber handgun. Scott is the father of Day’s young daughter.

On the eve of his scheduled jury trial, Scott also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence when he appeared Monday before Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The tampering charge pertains to Scott’s concealment of firearms to impede the homicide investigation.

Scott, who maintained that the shooting was accidental, was indicted by the county grand jury 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.

Rebecca Doherty, chief of the criminal division in the county prosecutor’s office, said she’ll recommend an 11-year prison term — the maximum allowed under the plea agreement.

However, Scott’s lawyer, James E. Lanzo, said he’d be calling for less prison time at the 10:30 a.m. June 22 sentencing. The minimum Scott faces is four years in prison.

The county grand jury declined to indict Scott on a murder charge, opting instead for the manslaughter charge, said Dawn Catalamessa, an assistant county prosecutor.

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