Man sentenced in fleeing case

Given maximum term for injuring sanitation worker

YOUNGSTOWN — Former sanitation worker William Shea told Judge Anthony D’Apolito he wanted Brandon Ferrier to get the maximum amount of jail time for hitting Shea with a car while Ferrier was fleeing from police in November 2019.

Ferrier, 24, of Canfield, pleaded guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in August to felony vehicular assault and failure to comply with the orders of a police officer in the episode, which took place on Allendale Avenue in Austintown after a Mahoning County sheriff’s deputy tried to make a traffic stop on Ferrier’s vehicle.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said while Ferrier was fleeing at 6:12 a.m. Nov. 6, he passed a Republic Services Waste Disposal truck and hit Shea, an employee, who was outside the truck. Shea was taken to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital and was in critical condition afterward.

During the sentencing hearing, Shea said the medical bills he has incurred because of his injuries have reached “$1 million and climbing.”

He asked for Ferrier to get the maximum sentence discussed in Ferrier’s plea agreement — 4 1/2 years in prison, in addition to 18 months for a crash in Tuscarawas County after he fled from the scene after hitting Shea. Ferrier gets credit for almost two years already spent locked up.

Shea said he hoped the sentence would take into account the “injuries I’ve been through, the lengthy stay in the hospital, lengthy stay in the nursing home, countless hours of physical therapy. The doctors say my life will be cut short because of this. And this young man showed he had no regard for human life or his actions on others.”

Martin Hume, county assistant prosecutor, later held up a pile of paperwork several inches thick associated with Shea’s medical care at the time.

The judge gave Ferrier the maximum sentence of 4 1/2 years in prison for the two charges associated with fleeing and injuring Shea and ordered that the time be served in addition to the 18 months in Tuscarawas County. He also revoked Ferrier’s driver’s license for life.

Ferrier also pleaded guilty to misuse of a credit card and two counts of receiving stolen property for an incident the previous month in Boardman. The sentences for those crimes are to be served at the same time as the 4 1/2 years.

The state patrol said that after Ferrier hit Shea, he drove to a nursing home on Meridian Road, where he left the SUV and got behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Jetta and traveled south on Interstate 77.

Troopers spotted the Jetta in Tuscarawas County’s New Philadelphia area. Troopers pursued the vehicle. Ferrier flipped the vehicle off the highway and had to be cut out of the vehicle. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

Before sentencing, Ferrier told D’Apolito that he’s had mental health issues and needs to address those issues and “show everyone I am a really good person. I just have an issue I need to correct. I am very sorry for my actions.”

The judge said Ferrier’s earlier crimes did not injure anyone, but the effect Ferrier’s crimes had on Shea are different.

“I have great admiration for people who get up and go to work and do the best they can,” he said. “That’s all this gentleman did was get up and go to work that day. Because of your actions, he is unable to do that.”

He said Ferrier has more issues than mental health. “It’s the decisions you made,” he said.


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