By Joe Gorman
Richard Labooth was to be sentenced Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to five years in prison for his role in a December 2012 shooting.
But after his attorney objected to another judge pronouncing sentence and a break was taken to seek the input of the original judge on the case, Labooth left the courthouse.
Now, his bond has been revoked by Judge Lou A. D’Apolito, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Labooth, 36, of East Avondale Avenue, was to be sentenced for his role in a shooting at a Lora Avenue home Dec. 14, 2012, in which two men, one of them wanting to buy marijuana, came to the house. Labooth pulled a gun, and the victim, who had a concealed-carry permit, returned fire. That man was shot three times, and Labooth was shot five times. Labooth has to wear a nerve-generative machine on his leg and has problems sitting and standing.
He entered into an Alford Plea to a charge of felonious assault with a firearm specification July 23. An Alford Plea means a defendant maintains innocence but admits that if the case goes to trial, there is enough evidence for a jury to convict.
Labooth has been on house arrest since his plea because of the treatment he is receiving for his leg so that it does not need to be amputated. His sentencing was set before Judge D’Apolito for Monday, but because he was busy in jury selection for an upcoming trial, Judge John Durkin was to perform the sentencing.
However, during the sentencing, Labooth’s attorney, James Lanzo asked for a continuance so the treatments on Labooth’s leg could continue. He said he had filed a motion to continue the sentencing before Judge D’Apolito, but Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Paris said records showed that motion was denied.
Lanzo then objected to another judge performing the sentencing, and Paris asked for a 15-minute recess so the attorneys could consult Judge D’Apolito, which Judge Durkin agreed to. Judge Durkin said he did not want to go against another judge’s ruling.
Lanzo and Paris both went to Judge D’Apolito’s courtroom, and Labooth also was seen in the hallway. However, when Judge D’Apolito took a break from jury selection, and attorneys went looking for Labooth, he could not be found. Judge D’Apolito’s bailiff also searched for Labooth and told the judge he saw Labooth get into a car in front of the courthouse and drive away.
That’s when Labooth’s house-arrest was revoked and a warrant was issued for his arrest.