Man refuses to cooperate, gets six years for robbery

By Joe Gorman


One of three people involved in the October robbery of a cab driver on the East Side, who shot and wounded one of his attackers, was sentenced today to six years in prison.

Visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny gave the sentence to Brandon Rosa, 20, who pleaded guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a charge of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification.

The sentence and plea in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court came despite the fact Rosa had several other offers that would have included lesser prison or jail time if he cooperated with the state.

Rosa turned all those offers down and instead pleaded guilty.

Rosa, Drequan Abdullah, 18, and a juvenile were arrested after a cab driver told police he was called to an address in Rockford Village housing development on the East Side about 10:40 p.m. Oct. 5, 2017, by three males who wanted him to take them to a home on Rutledge Drive.

When they got there, one of them pulled a gun and demanded money, reports said.

The driver reached for the gun, and a shot went off, wounding Abdullah. He was treated at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

The other two cases are still pending.

When he was going over the plea with Rosa, Judge Pokorny asked him if he realized that there were offers for far less jail or prison time that were made to him if he cooperated, and Rosa said he did. Judge Pokorny then asked Rosa if he still wanted to go through with his plea, and Rosa said he did.

Rosa did not say why he refused to cooperate, and he declined to speak when he was given an opportunity.

The sentence was jointly agreed upon by defense attorney Lou DeFabio and prosecutors. Rosa will serve three years for the aggravated robbery and three years for the firearm specification. He gets credit for 231 days he has waited in jail for his case to be resolved. DeFabio said his client was not the principal offender in the case and he has no prior criminal record.

Also as part of the case, three guns that city police recovered during the investigation will be forfeited to them.

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