Niles gang member sentenced to four years in prison

Staff report


Jamaz L. Protho, 18, one of three young men charged as members of a Niles gang called Savage Inc., has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Protho, of Washington Avenue and Royal Mall Drive in Niles, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to felonious assault and participating in a criminal gang.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped another count of felonious assault, one of kidnapping, one of aggravated robbery and one of trafficking in a counterfeit controlled substance.

Protho’s conviction relates to an assault Sept. 8 in which he and several juveniles pulled up in a car near a man, his wife and daughter walking on North Bentley Avenue at 11:22 p.m. and said: “Get out of the road.”

After other words were exchanged, Protho and three teens got out of the car and “sucker punched” the 50-year old man and continued to hit him, leaving a head wound and causing permanent eye damage.

Niles police said Protho was part of a gang that was known for painting graffiti on buildings in the Circle Street area near state Route 46 and Robbins Avenue and near Murphy Park.

Members of the group also were charged with kidnapping and assaulting a 21-year-old Niles woman on Sept. 15, but charges related to that crime were dropped.

Daniel Uncapher, 20, of Youll Street, was sentenced in January to one year in prison after pleading guilty to the gang charge for his role in the group.

A third man, Douglas E. McGuire, 19, of Washington Avenue, is still awaiting trial on multiple charges connected to the gang.

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