Man gets eight months for weapons, endangering charges

By Joe Gorman


Because it was St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, there was a lot of talk about luck in the courtroom of Judge Lou D’Apolito in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court before a man was to be sentenced for stashing a gun under a mattress in the crib of a 3-month-old child last fall.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors have a different version of what luck is, and both sides weighed in on it in the case of Jamal Moody, 22, of Thornton Avenue, who pleaded guilty to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with evidence and child endangering.

But, as always in court, the judge has the last word, and Judge D’Apolito said the luck in this case was that no one was hurt, especially the child.

Moody was sentenced to three years’ probation with a year to be served in the county jail. He was given credit for about four months he served awaiting the outcome of his case.

Police arrested Moody on Oct. 30 after officers were called for a fight at a Kendis Circle apartment on the East Side, where witnesses said Moody was threatening neighbors over loud music.

When officers found the apartment, they found a .22-caliber pistol under a mattress where the infant was sleeping. A .12-gauge shotgun was found in another room.

Defense attorney Tony Meranto said his client did a stupid thing, but he did not think he should go to prison.

Assistant Prosecutor Steve Yacovone argued for two years in prison, saying Moody was already barred from having a gun because he was convicted of trafficking in marijuana.

Meranto said a series of strange circumstances would have had to take place for the baby to be injured by the gun, especially since the baby could not even hold a bottle much less a gun.

But Judge D’Apolito said just having a gun present would increase the odds that something bad could happen.

“We’re very lucky no one was hurt in this case,” Judge D’Apolito said.

Moody said he was sorry and put himself in a bad position by making a bad decision. He is working on his General Educational Development diploma while in jail and wants a good job to support the baby his girlfriend is expecting.

Judge D’Apolito said while he believed Moody was sincere, he must still be punished for what he did, which is why he kept him in the jail.

The judge said he would consider early release only if Moody could present him with a plan of where he will live, how he will support his child and where he will work.

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