Accomplice in deadly home invasion to spend six years in prison.
Brandon Hosa never fired a shot in the 2012 Boardman home invasion that resulted in the death of the man he was with, but he is still responsible for that death and will spend the next six years behind bars.
Police said Hosa, 28, of Canfield, was the getaway driver for Michael A. Spera, 38, of Youngstown, who purportedly broke through the back sliding door and entered a home on Lockwood Boulevard in late October.
Spera was shot multiple times and killed by the homeowner, Kevin Neal, 44.
Neal told police he fired the weapon in self- defense when Spera came at him with a knife. Robert Andrews, an assistant county prosecutor, said Spera continued coming at Neal even after being shot, which is what led to the multiple gunshots.
Hosa, who never entered the home, initially was charged with murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. He entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors Wednesday wherein he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter as well as aggravated robbery.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors and Hosa’s attorney Douglas King agreed to a six-year prison term. Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court adopted the recommendation, sentencing Hosa to six years on each of the two charges to run concurrently.
Judge Krichbaum said it is clear Hosa did not fire the shots that killed Spera, but his role in the crime leading to Spera’s death make him legally responsible for that death.
“This has always been the law. It may not be easy to understand, but it is the state of the law,” the judge said.
King said his client was told he and Spera were going to the house to collect a debt, but he had no idea Spera would be killed and still has no knowledge of what actually transpired inside the home.
Hosa chose not to make a statement.
Andrews said the facts of the case make the sentence handed down appropriate.
“We had no knowledge that he knew this would happen, but under the law he is still responsible,” Andrews said. “Based on the complicated facts in this case, and the fact that the defendant has a previous conviction for burglary and after speaking with the Boardman Police Department, our office feels the recommended sentence of six years is appropriate.”
Andrews said Spera’s family was notified about the court hearing, but chose not to attend. He said the family believes charges were brought against the wrong man. They want to see charges brought against Neal.
Andrews said Neal is not likely to be charged with any crime.
Neal and Spera had a history, with Neal seeking a civil-protection order after saying that Spera threatened him multiple times.