Earl Charity III gets seven years in prison in an East Side drive-by shooting


By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A man who pleaded guilty to firing from a motor vehicle into an occupied East Side residence has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed the sentence Monday on Earl Charity III, 26, of Delaware Avenue.

Charity pleaded guilty as charged to firing into a habitation, being a felon with a gun and two counts of felonious assault in a March 22, 2010, drive-by shooting in the 1100 block of Springdale Avenue.

A trial of this matter ended in a hung jury last March, and Charity pleaded guilty as he was awaiting his retrial.

Judge Evans sentenced Charity to five years in prison on a motor-vehicle gun specification, consecutive to a two-year prison term on all the other charges combined.

Nobody was hit by some 29 rounds Charity fired from a .40-caliber handgun, but bullets hit the home of one victim and a sport-utility vehicle belonging to the other, as the victims stood outside the residence.

Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, said the motive for the shooting is unclear.

In a separate case, the prosecution is appealing Judge Evans’ Nov. 15 dismissal of an aggravated- murder charge against Charity, due to what Judge Evans said was the prosecution’s failure to comply with speedy-trial requirements. The appeal was filed in the 7th District Court of Appeals.

Charity was charged in the Oct. 4, 2009, shooting death of Darrick Hall, 23, of East Marion Avenue, whose body was found at North Avenue and Arlington Street on the North Side.

A co-defendant, Marcus T. Rutledge, 26, of Brookline Avenue, drew a six-year prison term from Judge Evans after Rutledge pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter.

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