Co-defendant in West Side murder sentenced

By Joe Gorman


James Perry told a judge Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court he did not think before planning a robbery in which a man was killed.

The stepfather of the man who died said it wasn’t just Evan Amos, 22, who died late on the evening of Oct. 18, 2017, at the side door of his South Lakeview Avenue home.

Paul Holden told Judge Anthony Donofrio that his wife and Evan’s mother, Katheline Holden, lost her job because the grief was so intense; and Amos’ sister dropped out of college because the pain of Amos’ death was just too much.

“The impact is immeasurable,” Holden told the judge.

Perry, 20, was sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery with firearm specifications for his role in the death of Amos.

Last week, Jesse Stewart, 21, who prosecutors said shot and killed Amos, received a 25-year sentence.

Perry pleaded guilty in March 2018 in the death of Amos and agreed to testify against Stewart if it came to that. Perry also gave prosecutors a statement about the crime, which he helped plan. Prosecutors said last week at Stewart’s sentencing that the pair wanted to rob Amos of marijuana but Amos instead ended up being killed.

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Yacovone asked the judge to abide by the plea agreement because of Perry’s cooperation, but some of Amos’ relatives who spoke to the judge said they were not happy and wished Perry could receive more prison time.

Katheline Holden, as she did during Stewart’s sentencing hearing, recounted for the judge the nightmare her life has become since her son was murdered. She said she has trouble sleeping and when she finally does sleep, she has vivid nightmares about his death.

“My whole family was murdered that night,” she said. “My family was murdered that night.”

Perry apologized and asked if someday he could be forgiven.

“I’m not a monster,” Perry said. “I was just somebody trying to be someone I’m not.”

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