Driver in Repchic murder gets 31 years in prison
By Peter H. Milliken
Kevin D. Agee Jr. told a judge he still doesn’t understand why he must spend so much time in prison based upon what he said were inconsistencies in evidence presented at his trial.
Agee, 28, was the driver of the car from which shots were fired that killed Thomas Repchic, 74, and wounded Repchic’s wife, Jacqueline, 74, on Sept. 25, 2010.
Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Friday resentenced Agee to 31 years to life in prison. She initially had sentenced him to 39 years to life in prison.
Agee admitted driving the vehicle from which co-defendant Aubrey F. Toney, 33, reportedly fired on the Rephics’ car on the city’s South Side, according to the 7th District Court of Appeals, which ordered Agee to be resentenced.
Toney’s capital murder trial, which had been scheduled to start earlier this month, was postponed to April 28 because of the high-risk pregnancy of a key prosecution witness who lives in Georgia.
The appellate court ruled the attempted murder and felonious assault offenses committed against Jacqueline Repchic had to be merged, and not separated, for sentencing purposes.
That panel also ruled the prosecution had to decide which charge it wanted Agee to be sentenced on at the hearing.
Dawn Cantalamessa, an assistant county prosecutor, told Judge Sweeney she wanted Agee to be sentenced for the attempted murder, and that she wanted maximum consecutive sentences imposed: 15 years to life for murder, plus three consecutive years for the firearm specification, 10 years for felonious assault, plus three years for that firearm specification, for a total of 31 years.
The attempted-murder charge carried a prison sentence range of three to 10 years. The felonious assault charge had a range of two to eight years.
Just before his resentencing, Agee told the court the bullet he saw introduced into evidence during his trial, which had no copper head, did not match the one taken from his house, which had a copper head. “If the bullet is not made out of the same metal, it’s not the same bullet,” Agee said.
“I don’t see how you can carry along and sentence me to so many years to life in prison and send me back [to prison] like nothing is happening wrong in this courtroom,” Agee told the judge.
Although the appeals panel ordered the resentencing, it upheld Agee’s conviction and rejected his claim his conviction was “contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.”
There is no evidence the jury “lost its way” in finding Agee complicit in the shooting, the appeals court said.
Police said the Repchics were shot in a case of mistaken identity because they occupied a car similar to one driven by people with whom Toney had been feuding.
The Repchics were shot at Southern Boulevard and Philadelphia Avenue after Thomas Repchic picked up his wife from her job as a secretary at St. Dominic Church.
Agee’s mother, Stephanie Agee, said before the resentencing that her son told her he will not testify in Toney’s trial.
She said her son has nothing to gain by testifying because his life is already ruined, that he barely knew Toney, and that she believes her son is innocent.