Man pleads guilty in road rage case

Staff report


A man charged in a road- rage incident on the East Side earlier this year faces at least three years in prison.

Leonard Ellis Jr., 21, pleaded guilty Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges of felonious assault with a firearm specification, discharging a firearm at or near prohibited premises, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He will be sentenced at a later date by Judge Lou D’Apolito.

Prosecutors are recommending a seven-year prison term, but three years are mandatory because of the firearm specification. Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Paris said the state will stand silent if Ellis makes a request for judicial release provided he does not get into trouble in prison.

Ellis was arrested April 13 after reports said he and another driver had cut each other off and chased each other to the 800 block of Palmer Avenue, where several shots were fired. Witnesses told police Ellis fired a shot in the ground before driving to a home on Palmer, where he was found along with a gun.

Ellis will be sentenced later this month by Judge Maureen Sweeney on a parole violation from a 2012 case. His sentencing before Judge D’Apolito will be after that hearing.

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