Robbery sends man to prison for four years

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A 19-year-old Youngstown man will be spending the next four years behind bars for robbing two teens at gunpoint on the South Side in 2012.

Tommy Grant of Breaden Street pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with prosecutors to a single count of aggravated robbery.

Grant appeared for sentencing Wednesday before Judge Lou D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. He was also sentenced for a charge from another case of carrying a concealed weapon.

Judge D’Apolito handed down the four-year sentence with stiff words admonishing Grant and telling him to straighten out his life upon his release from prison.

“I get no pleasure in sending a man of your age to the penitentiary, but I have a job to do,” the judge said. “There is some hope here, but also a lot of problems, and the answers are with you.”

Jeffrey Davis, an assistant county prosecutor, said Grant was walking along Hillman Street when he encountered the two victims. He said Grant asked them about buying drugs, and when they declined, he robbed the two teens at gunpoint.

Davis said the plea agreement was reached in part because the victims requested it.

“The plea agreement was at the request of the victims, but he is still going to prison on a four-year agreed-upon sentence. Given that this is what the victims wanted and he is going to prison, I believe this is fair,” said Davis.

Atty. Matt Gambrel, representing Grant, told the court his client had a bad start and was destined to see the inside of a prison because of it.

“If you look at Mr. Grant’s history it is almost undeniable that he would end up in prison at some point,” said Gambrel.

Grant, Gambrel told the court, was raised by a single mother of limited means and witnessed drug abuse by other members of his immediate circle at an early age. He said Grant’s mother died when he was relatively young, sending the boy into an early life of crime that landed him in juvenile detention for a period of time.

Grant told the court he is sorry for what he has done and he will try to make the best of his time behind bars, learning a trade so he will be employable when he is released from prison.

“I am a good kid, and I am humble, but I have issues like everyone else,” he said. “I am going to do my best to get into a trade so I can get a job when I come home.”

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