Man will serve at least a year in girlfriend's shooting

YOUNGSTOWN — A Canton Street man will spend at least a year in prison after pleading guilty Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges he shot his girlfriend in November during an argument at their home.

Judge Anthony D’Apolito upheld a sentencing recommendation by prosecutors and defense attorneys for James Sunderman, 31, who pleaded guilty to a charge of felonious assault and was sentenced to three years in prison and an additional year for a firearm specification.

Under the terms of his plea agreement under the sentence for the firearm specification, Sunderland will get credit for the six months he has served in the Mahoning County jail awaiting the disposition of his case, then serve the remaining six months for the firearm specification before the sentence for the felonious assault starts. He can apply for judicial release after he has served the first six months of that term.

Reports said police were called to Sunderman’s home Nov. 6 and found his girlfriend bleeding from a wound to the thigh from a .12-gauge shotgun.

The woman told police she had shot herself but later at the hospital the woman and her mother told police Sunderland forced the victim to say she shot herself, reports said.

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