Pleaded guilty to robberies and shooting that left man paralyzed


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A 17-year-old who pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted-murder charges in two separate incidents was sentenced Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to 13 years in prison.

Judge John M. Durkin sentenced Daesean Bunch on two charges of felonious assault, attempted murder and three counts of aggravated robbery in separate incidents Oct. 28, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2016.

In the first case, Bunch robbed several people of their phones while using a gun.

In the second case, Bunch shot a man, paralyzing him from the chest down, after luring the man to Youngstown on Facebook to buy a gun and marijuana.

Bunch was 16 when the crimes were committed, said Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa. Cantalamessa told Judge Durkin in the first case, guns were used to rob three people of their cellphones.

Mark Lavelle, the attorney for Bunch, told the judge he can’t imagine what would lead a 16-year-old to commit so many serious crimes at so young an age.

“It’s a different world,” Lavelle said. “It’s literally crazy.”

While the 13-year sentence was the agreed-upon maximum for the case, Lavelle asked for a lower sentence because it would allow his client to apply for judicial release at an earlier time. Lavelle said spending more than a year in jail has matured his client and that he has strong support from his mother, who was in the courtroom Thursday.

Judge Durkin agreed that family support is lucky, but he said Bunch should consider he was lucky to have received the deal he did because if he had gone to trial and was convicted, he could have faced a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

He said now Bunch gets to get out of prison at a young age and can still walk, unlike the man he pleaded guilty to wounding.

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