By joe gorman
When Brandon Jackson told Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court one of two cases he was being sentenced for was crazy, the judge said it was more than that.
“This is Wild West stuff,” Judge Krichbaum said. “Talk about crazy. Think about what it’s like for people who stay at home and watch TV.”
Jackson, 29, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by Judge Krichbaum after pleading guilty to charges in two separate cases, one for possession of heroin and cocaine and a weapon earlier this year; and three counts of felonious assault, felon in possession of a weapon and intimidation for an incident early March 3 where shots were fired, a car was run off the road and a man who stopped to help was pistol whipped.
Another man, Sergio Gonzalez, 28, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in the second case, which started after a fight between Jackson and a group of people in an Oak Street bar.
Jackson, however, denied firing any shots or ramming a car off the road, but Judge Krichbaum said Jackson needed to understand that he was just as responsible as Gonzalez because he made no efforts to stop what was happening.
“You have to get over this thing you did nothing wrong,” the judge said.
At his sentencing hearing, Gonzalez claimed Jackson was the person responsible for the events in the second case.
What is clear is that Jackson and Gonzalez were in a bar and had a disagreement with a group of men in the bar. One of them shot a gun in the air in the parking lot, then went to a home to get another gun. As they drove around, they saw a car they thought belonged to the men and rammed it off the road only to discover that the wrong people were in the car. A man driving by thought there was an accident and stopped to help and instead he was pistol whipped by Gonzalez.
“I never did any of this stuff,” Jackson said.
Judge Krichbaum said that, legally, it doesn’t matter, because he was complicit in the crimes being committed and he told Jackson he had to realize that.
“When you keep saying, ‘I didn’t do this, this isn’t right,’ you’re wrong about all of that,” Judge Krichbaum said.
In the first case, Jackson was charged with the drug offenses after he was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal.
He refused a request by police to allow them to search his car and instead asked for a ticket, said his attorney, David Engler, and then he had to wait 10 minutes for a police dog from Boardman to arrive. The dog found drugs and a weapon in the car, which was the basis for the first case.