Man pleads guilty to gang charge

Niles man, 20, pleads guilty to gang charge

Daniel Uncapher of Niles, one of three young Niles men indicted in November on felony charges related to gang activity, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

By Ed Runyan


Daniel Uncapher, 20, of Youll Street, one of three young Niles men indicted in November on felony charges related to gang activity, kidnapping, robbery and assault, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to one year in prison.

Uncapher pleaded guilty Wednesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to attempt to participate in a criminal gang.

He gets credit for four months served in jail and has about eight months of his sentence to serve.

Three charges were dropped in exchange for his plea, including ones that could have added about 30 years to his sentence.

Chris Becker, an assistant county prosecutor, said evidence indicated that Uncapher was less involved in some of the criminal offenses than originallly thought.

Becker said he can’t comment further because of pending cases against two others.

Uncapher’s attorney, Samuel Bluedorn, said the kidnapping, assault and robbery charges were dropped because one of the victims in the case said Uncapher “didn’t do anything to her.”

Bluedorn said Uncapher was at the residence at some point, but he “wasn’t there when it started,” adding, Bluedorn was “shocked [Uncapher] was even indicted on it.”

On the other hand, there was “some pretty good evidence [Uncapher] was involved in the gang,” which is why he pleaded guilty to the gang charge, Bluedorn said.

Charges still are pending against the two other Niles men indicted in the case, Douglas E. McGuire, 18, of Washington Avenue; and Jamaz L. Protho, 18, of Royal Mall.

The indictments are all related to a Sept. 15 attack on a 21-year-old Niles woman at a house on North Chestnut Avenue in which the woman said she was pistol-whipped, stomped on, beaten with a belt and kicked in the groin.

The woman’s mother reported the incident and said she thought the males involved were “the so-called gang members Savages.”

Niles police said the males, also known as Savage Inc., used gang colors and “marked” various areas in the city with graffiti, especially in the Circle Street area near the intersection of Robbins Avenue and state Route 46 and on a bridge along the Niles bike trail.

The enterprise also involved three juvenile boys, two of them age 15 and 16, and an assault Sept. 8 in which a 50-year- old man suffered a head wound after several young men assaulted him on North Bentley Avenue, police said.

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