Woman, 20, gets probation, must take training

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A 20-year-old Youngstown woman will spend one year on probation and receive anger-management and job training as a consequence of her role in a 2011 fight between two factions of women.

Darlesha Jones pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault. She appeared Thursday for sentencing before Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Jones, who is pregnant, could have received up to 18 months in prison, but Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, recommended probation based on Jones’ lack of a previous criminal record.

“This is the defendant out of all of this who was only charged with one count,” she said. “Her role compared to others involved is definitely minimal.”

Police arrested Jones, her mother Shalena Clark, 39, and her sister Rayshawnda Clark, 21, after an ongoing feud between the two groups of women that ended with the attempted use of a gun in July 2011.

Rayshawnda Clark had been charged with attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault and two counts of criminal damaging. Shalena Clark had been charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Both Clarks entered into agreements with prosecutors to plead guilty to three counts of aggravated assault. They will be sentenced at a later date.

McLaughlin said the fight between the women ended at a house Jones shared with her mother and sister. She said Jones’ involvement was handing her sister a pot that she used to beat one of the other women and spraying someone with oven cleaner.

Atty. Lou DeFabio, representing Jones, said his client has taken the charges against her seriously and wanted to resolve the matter, fearful that she might be sent to prison.

Jones apologized to the court and promised the judge she would not return to his courtroom.

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