Man gets four years in ‘weed and money’ robbery

Staff report


A West Side man who was among a group who broke into an Austintown apartment and woke a man at gunpoint demanding “weed and money” received a four-year sentence Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Brian Pressley Jr., 20, of South Maryland Avenue pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in the January 2017 crime.

Pressley and his co-defendants took $46, one person hit the man in the face with a gun and they fled, the police report said.

Judge Lou A. D’Apolito, who imposed the sentence, said he would consider the possibility of early judicial release.

“You do have to go,” Judge D’Apolito said. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to come back.”

Pressley apologized for his actions and said many things have changed in his life since January, and he became a father Tuesday.

“This whole experience has been life-changing,” Pressley said. “I don’t sleep the same. I don’t wake up and do the same things.”

Pressley’s co-defendant, Tyler Hewitt, 20, of Austintown also pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery, and Beau Jeffries, 19, also of Austintown, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and trespass in a habitation related to the robbery.

Prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence at Hewitt’s sentencing Tuesday.

The final co-defendant, Phillip Ritchie, 19, of Canfield, has a charge of obstructing justice pending before the court.

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