Man gets probation for obstructing justice in homicide

By Peter H. Milliken


A Hadley Avenue man, who pleaded guilty to a reduced obstructing justice charge at the first-degree misdemeanor level in relation to a homicide case, has been placed on three years’ probation with a six-month suspended jail sentence.

Anthony M. Brown, 21, drew the sentence Tuesday from Judge Anthony M. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court after the prosecution agreed to recommend probation for him.

Brown was indicted on a charge of obstructing justice at the much higher third-degree felony level in connection with the police investigation and apprehension of De’Ondre Gayles, 21, of Lemans Drive, Boardman, who was sentenced this month to 17 years in prison for the death of 20-year-old Ralph Thomas of Girard.

Thomas was fatally shot July 19 during what police said was a marijuana sale at DuPont and Hammaker streets on Youngstown’s North Side.

After the shooting, Gayles gave Brown the gun, which Brown threw out a car window; but Brown went to police and told them where the gun was, said Nicholas Brevetta, an assistant county prosecutor.

Police recovered the gun, and Brown “cooperated from that day on,” including identifying Gayles to police as the shooter, Brevetta said.

Gayles pleaded guilty in December to voluntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, being a felon in possession of a firearm and felonious assault.

Brevetta said Gayles set up the meeting with Thomas, and he could be seen on video lying in wait to ambush him.

“Any violation of the community control sanction [probation] will result in your being incarcerated,” the judge warned Brown.

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