An 18-year-old city man will spend the next eight years in prison after his conviction for felonious assault with a gun specification, stemming from a 2012 shooting on the South Side.
Michael Anderson Jr., of North Brockway Avenue, was sentenced Tuesday before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for sentencing. Anderson appeared with his attorney James Gentile.
Anderson was indicted on two counts of felonious assault and improper discharge of a firearm at or into a habitation. The charges were amended in a plea agreement with prosecutors wherein Anderson pleaded guilty to felonious assault, improper discharge of a weapon and a gun specification.
Judge Krichbaum ruled that as a matter of law, the felonious-assault and improper-discharge charges should merge. He sentenced Anderson to five years on the assault charge and three years on the gun specification.
“This type of shooting shocks the conscience and makes everyone in our community step back and say, ‘What in the world was going on here?’” Judge Krichbaum said.
According to police, Anderson shot Jajuan Adkins-Holland, 21, of East Avondale Avenue after an argument Sept. 30, 2012, on East Avondale. Adkins-Holland suffered a gunshot wound to the groin and was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment.
A witness said the victim was seen just before the shooting arguing with a group of six people on a South Side porch, including a woman he had argued with earlier that same day. The woman had accused the victim of trying to assault her three years ago.
Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court Anderson’s actions warranted more than a minimal sentence.
“There was significant harm to the victim. This victim was shot in the genital area, so there were some obvious issues involved, justifying more than a minimum sentence for the defendant,” she said.
McLaughlin said the circumstances of the shooting coupled with Anderson’s juvenile record called for some jail time.
Anderson had no adult record, but as a juvenile was charged with assault, attempted burglary, trafficking in drugs, robbery, aggravated menacing, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass. Each of those charges resulted in probation.
Anderson, prior to sentencing, apologized for his actions and told the court he wished he could take back what he had done. He said his actions the day of the shooting weigh on his mind daily.
“I want to own up to my mistake. It wasn’t my battle, but I felt like I was defending her. She is a close friend to me, and I took it personal, took matters into my own hands,” he told the judge.
Gentile said his client deserved some consideration for owning up to the crime and the circumstances of the alleged sexual assault on the female friend.
McLaughlin said the prosecutor’s office cannot verify the validity of the assault accusation because no reports or charges ever have been filed related to that purported crime.
One man present at the time of the shooting has since been killed in an unrelated South Side shooting. Tamarick D. Moore, 18, of Alameda Avenue found shot to death in vehicle at 240 E. Avondale on Nov. 18. There have been no arrests in that slaying.