By Joe Gorman
A Campbell man will spend the next 15 years in prison for shooting four family members despite requests from his family that he not be prosecuted.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Friday sentenced Devin Spann, 24, on four counts of felonious assault and an additional three-year term because a firearm was used to commit the crimes.
Spann was accused of shooting the family members in the Seventh Street home he shared with them July 20, 2013. He was arrested by police a short time after the shootings when he tried to run away. Spann also had shot himself, police said.
Nick Brevetta, an assistant county prosecutor, told Judge Krichbaum that Spann was upset with family members because they would not give him the money to buy an AK-47 assault rifle, but defense attorney Ed Hartwig disputed that, saying it was the first time he had heard that motive.
Brevetta also told the judge that he had met with family members, and they told him they did not want to see Spann prosecuted.
Avis Roland, one of the shooting victims and Spann’s grandmother, asked Judge Krichbaum to sentence her grandson below the 15-year sentence recommended by prosecutors. She said her grandson has a good heart, and she believes he can get better if he receives treatment for his mental illness and turns his life over to God.
“Devin is a real good person. He has been a real good child. Always,” she said.
Family members told police that Spann had been acting strangely in the days leading up to the shooting and had been threatening them.
Judge Krichbaum said he was concerned that Spann’s mental illness, left unchecked, could lead to a repeat of his behavior. Hartwig told the judge his client knew prison was necessary but that he had never had a violent episode before or since the shooting. Spann also apologized.
“I know I’ve got to be held responsible for it,” Spann said.
Brevetta said he thinks the 15 years is necessary to ensure the public is protected. The total maximum sentence Spann could have received is 35 years.