Attorneys agree to stay gang case

By joe gorman


Attorneys for a man accused of being a member of a violent East Side street gang agreed to have his case stayed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court until another court rules on his previous criminal case.

Brandon Wallace, 18, has a sentencing in a previous case he pleaded guilty to in common pleas court pending in juvenile court, which complicates the gang case of which he is part.

Wallace is one of 13 people indicted in the summer on charges they were part of the Vic Boys street gang on charges ranging from engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, trafficking in drugs and being felons in possession of firearms.

Wallace was arrested as a juvenile when he was 17 on charges of aggravated robbery and felonious assault, and his case was bound over to common pleas court to be tried as an adult.

He pleaded guilty to the felonious assault charge and was sentenced Oct. 30 by Judge Lou D’Apolito to five years in prison.

In cases where a juvenile is sentenced as an adult, however, state law requires that the case be remanded back to juvenile court so the judge there can determine if the sentence is proper. The judge can allow that sentence to remain or impose his or her own sentence.

Wallace’s attorney, Lou DeFabio, had filed a motion to have Wallace’s gang case either dismissed or transferred to juvenile court.

Just before a hearing Wednesday in the courtroom of Judge Maureen A. Sweeney, however, DeFabio and Martin Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor, agreed that Wallace’s case should be stayed until the juvenile-court judge decides on his previous sentence on the robbery charge.

DeFabio wants Wallace’s gang case to be tried in juvenile court should the judge give him a juvenile-court sentence in his felonious-assault case.

It is not known when Wallace’s case may be reviewed in juvenile court. He is awaiting the decision in the county jail.

The remaining gang cases also are set before Judge Sweeney, but they have yet to go to trial.

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