Two men convicted of shooting a reputed drug dealer and his mother during an apparent robbery and leaving the pair for dead will each spend at least the next 26 years behind bars.
Dawan Fuller, 20, and Sherrick Jackson, 23, both of East Judson Avenue appeared for sentencing Tuesday before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Jackson previously pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and two counts of felonious assault, each with firearm specifications. Fuller was convicted of the same charges after a bench trial in August.
Prosecutors agreed to recommend a 10-year sentence for Jackson in exchange for his guilty plea, however, that recommendation was taken off the table because Jackson testified for Fuller as a defense witness.
Fuller rejected the same 10-year deal before going on trial.
Police found Robert Shaffer, 29, and his mother, Michelle E. Holmes, 50, on the floor of their Oakwood Avenue residence, suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
Holmes, who was shot in the abdomen and shoulder, still suffers from serious abdominal injuries, prosecutors said. Shaffer, who was in a coma for a month after the crime, was shot in the abdomen, hand and both legs, and a bullet grazed his head.
Nicholas Brevetta, an assistant county prosecutor, said the motive appeared to be robbery of drugs and money.
Kevin Trapp, an assistant county prosecutor, said it is clear that Fuller and Jackson planned to leave no witnesses alive after the crime.
Brevetta, just before to sentencing, reminded the court that both Jackson and Fuller were on probation for felony burglary in separate cases when they shot the mother and son. He said their disregard for the probation they were serving at the time speaks volumes about their character.
“Mr. Fuller and Mr. Jackson should be sentenced to significant terms, if not maximum sentences,” he said. “The state believes a maximum sentence of 28 years is the only way to protect the public and punish the defendants for their crimes.”
Jackson apologized to the court, saying he simply was defending himself at the time of the shooting.
“I am sorry for what I did. I take full responsibility. I wanted to protect myself. I didn’t want to die in what was going on, that’s why it happened the way it did,” he said.
There were no apologies from Fuller. He, just as he did at trial, maintained his innocence and said he will continue to try to clear his name.
“I am innocent. I will continue to fight for my innocence. I have no knowledge of this crime and was not at this crime, yet I am being placed at this crime,” he said.
Judge Sweeney made note that, as a matter of law, sentences for the aggravated assaults would merge with the sentences for attempted murder. She then handed down 10-year terms for each of the two attempted- murder charges, plus three years for each of two gun charges.
Both men will get credit for the 304 days spent in the county jail waiting on the case to be resolved, but Fuller must spend an additional eight years in prison on the probation violation he had before the current case.