Man gets seven years for East Side home invasion

By Joe Gorman


A Lansdowne Boulevard man was given a seven-year prison sentence for the shooting of a man last July.

Judge Lou A. D’Apolito sentenced Donnel Liggins, 25, at a hearing Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. He pleaded guilty in June to charges of aggravated burglary, felonious assault, improper discharge of a firearm into a habitation and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He also entered a guilty plea to a previous charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Liggins was accused of breaking into a Fairfax Avenue home and wounding 32-year-old Kevin Rogers during a home invasion about 11:50 p.m. July 27, 2013.

Police said Rogers knows Liggins, and when Liggins knocked on his door and Rogers opened it, Liggins pointed a gun at him.

Rogers grabbed the gun, and the two struggled and it went off, hitting Rogers. Liggins ran away without being able to steal anything, police said.

Police went to arrest Liggins but could not find him. He was not taken into custody until Nov. 22, according to jail records.

One of Liggins’ attorneys, David Betras, said there are two different versions of what happened the night Rogers was shot, but Rogers did not show up at the sentencing hearing. He asked Judge D’Apolito to stick by the seven-year sentence, which was agreed to by prosecutors and defense attorneys when Liggins entered his guilty pleas.

Liggins declined to address the court before he was sentenced.

Judge D’Apolito told Liggins he is still a young man and that he needed to concentrate in prison on learning from his mistakes and changing his behavior because he has a lot of life left ahead of him.

“Think about tomorrow because you’re young,” Judge D’Apolito said. “It’s up to you.”

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