Man gets year in jail on gun charge

By Joe Gorman


Judge Lou D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court said he wants people to know there are consequences if they use a firearm they legally own and carry the wrong way.

The judge sentenced Maurice Jones, 32, of Glenmont Avenue, to one year in the county jail after finding him guilty of a count of carrying a concealed weapon after Jones pleaded no contest.

Jones had a concealed-carry permit in January 2016, when he was accused of firing a gun in January in a Matta Avenue home during a fight he originally was not involved in. A person was wounded in that shooting but subsequently recovered.

Judge D’Apolito said Jones had also been drinking at the time and he did not show good judgment by not only using his gun but also having it with him in the first place.

“You can’t mix booze with bullets,” Judge D’Apolito said.

Tom Zena, Jones’ attorney, asked for probation. He said Jones lost a good job when he was arrested and he has never been in trouble before.

Zena said his client was the victim of an attack twice, including one time when a gun was held against his head, which is the reason why he applied for and received a concealed-carry permit in the first place.

That permit has been revoked since Jones’ arrest.

Jones also apologized, saying his actions that night have left him embarrassed.

“Every day I wake up, I regret everything that took place that day,” Jones said.

The judge also noted letters of support Jones received from his family that mentioned he has a temper when he drinks. Judge D’Apolito said he wants Jones to get help for that problem while he is in the jail.

Because Jones has no prior criminal record, Judge D’Apolito said he did not think sending him to prison was necessary. But he did say some punishment was necessary because he used his gun in a way that was reckless and could have killed someone.

“I just don’t think it’s the message you send this community that you can legally have a gun on you, and get drunk, get in a fight, pull it and use it,” Judge D’Apolito said.

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