Man sentenced for role in off-campus shooting of YSU student

By Joe Gorman


A man who pleaded guilty to charges he slammed the door on police investigating the shooting of a Youngstown State University student last February was placed on two years’ probation.

Rashaud Lewis, 20, of Pittsburgh, received the sentence Thursday from Judge John Durkin of Mahonng County Common Pleas Court for a guilty plea earlier this year to a charge of obstruction of justice, a fifth-degree felony.

The sentence was recommended in the plea agreement reached by prosecutors and Lewis’ attorney, J.P. Laczko.

Another man, Sylean Wilson, 20, also of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty March 10 to a charge of felonious assault for his role in the case. Wilson was accused of an early-morning shooting Feb. 17, 2013, on Pennsylvania Avenue on the North Side near off-campus housing for YSU students that injured Brittany Johnson, 23, of Bedford Heights. She was a nursing student at the university.

Police said Wilson stood on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and fired several shots at a vehicle Johnson was in. She was struck in the torso. When officers responded to the area and went to search a building they thought the shooter might be in, Lewis slammed the door in their face, police said.

Johnson had no ties at all to Wilson, and at his plea hearing his attorney said someone was firing shots at Wilson and he fired back, which was when Johnson was wounded. She was in a car with three other people when she was shot.

Lewis declined to speak before he was sentenced.

Laczko asked Judge Durkin to stick with the terms of the plea agreement and sentence Lewis to probation. Other than five years’ probation he is serving in Pennsylvania for misdemeanor drug and assault charges, he has no prior criminal record, Laczko said.

“I think the young man has learned his lesson,” Laczko said.

Judge Durkin said it was important that Lewis cooperated with police once he was arrested.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of six years for Wilson. His sentencing is set for April 17, also before Judge Durkin.

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