Man sentenced on gun charge
By Joe Gorman
Some people like to court danger by running with the bulls or swimming with sharks.
Then there are those who are free on bond yet miss a sentencing hearing before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Such was the case Tuesday with Teqwan Scott, 24, of Tod Lane, who was set to be sentenced June 19 to probation with six months in the county jail after pleading guilty to a charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
But he never showed up to the hearing. He was taken into custody that day by Warren police on a traffic warrant that he said he had no idea was issued.
Judge Krichbaum, who is known to go above sentencing recommendations in cases and to sentence anyone who violates probation to prison, said it was the responsibility of Scott to know he had a warrant before the sentencing and to take care of it before then.
“He was supposed to be here, and he wasn’t here,” Judge Krichbaum said.
Before Tuesday’s hearing, Scott argued with his lawyer, Ed Hartwig, saying it was not fair that he would probably get a prison sentence even though Hartwig stressed that he would ask the judge to keep the same sentencing recommendation intact. Hartwig said he attended court dates before Judge Krichbaum and was appropriately dressed each time, which is a condition of bond.
Judge Krichbaum said Scott did not run from him nor did he hide out to escape the sentencing, which worked in his favor. Yet, the judge said he has a court to run and people need to show up when they are scheduled or the court would not be able to run properly.
“I can’t run a court based on excuses,” Judge Krichbaum said. “I just can’t do it.”
Judge Krichbaum sentenced Scott to a year in prison, in part, he said, because Scott has been to prison twice before. He could have received a maximum sentence of 18 months.
Scott was arrested early April 14 on the South Side after police pulled him over for running a stop sign and found a 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine in his car. Reports said Scott told police he needed a gun because he lived next door to a man who was shot and killed April 9 during a shootout.