Abductor of 3-year-old gets five years’ probation

By Peter H. Milliken



A man who abducted his 3-year-old son has been sentenced to five years’ probation, during which he must perform 500 hours of community service.

Robert Partridge, 36, of Warren, who also has addresses in Austintown and Canton, drew the sentence Monday from Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, who ordered Partridge to have “absolutely no contact” with the boy or the boy’s mother unless it is ordered or supervised by the juvenile court.

In a plea deal, Partridge pleaded guilty to abduction, and the prosecution dropped a kidnapping charge.

Partridge was charged with failing to return the boy to his mother after a scheduled visitation in November 2012.

Saying Partridge took the child to Virginia without the boy’s mother’s knowledge, Robert Andrews, an assistant county prosecutor, called for Partridge to get the maximum prison term, which would be three years.

Citing what she called Partridge’s “complete disregard for the laws,” the boy’s mother also called for the maximum sentence. “This is not a person who should be allowed in public, let alone around children,” she said.

However, Partridge’s lawyer, Lou DeFabio, said his client wrongly took “a drastic action” during “very contentious” custody proceedings in juvenile court because he believed his son was in danger.

“This child was safe and not harmed at all,” by Partridge, who has no prior criminal record, DeFabio said, calling for probation for his client.

As soon as he knew he’d been indicted by the Mahoning County grand jury, Partridge returned with the boy and turned himself in at Mahoning County jail, DeFabio said.

Partridge, who spent five months in jail, apologized for his actions, saying, “I allowed myself to be ruled by my heart and not by my head.”

Violation of the probation terms could result in imposition of up to a three-year prison term, Judge Sweeney warned Partridge.

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