Man who assaulted factory trainer resentenced

YOUNGSTOWN — Eddie L. Crook Jr., 30, has been resentenced to four to six years in prison for assaulting a co-worker who was training him in the operation of a machine at the AstroShapes factory in Struthers.

The 7th District Court of Appeals ordered the resentence recently in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court because of an error involving Crook’s original sentencing hearing May 10, 2021.

Crook gets credit for nearly two years of jail and prison time already served.

Crook was sentenced to 6.9 years to 8.4 years in prison May 10, 2021, for assaulting the woman, which resulted in a broken jaw, and for a separate grand theft conviction involving $76,000 of medical services.

But the appellate court ruled earlier this year an error occurred during the sentencing hearing. That court sided with Crook when his appeals attorney said Crook should not have been “surprised” by the type of sentence he received from Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

In the 2021 hearing, the judge sentenced Crook to 3 to 4 1/2 years in prison on the felonious assault and grand theft charges but also ordered Crook to serve 1,416 days in prison that were left on his post-release control — which many people call probation — from a 2012 conviction.

In Crook’s appeal, his attorney said Crook was not aware at the time he entered his guilty plea that he might have to serve 1,416 days of leftover post-release control in addition to his prison sentence.

During the appeal, prosecutors said the post-release control issue should not have mattered because the judge actually chose a lighter sentence of 3 to 4 1/2 years in prison than the 5 to 7 1/2 years prosecutors were recommending.

The appeals ruling required Crooks have a new plea hearing and sentence to correct the error. After pleading guilty to felonious assault and grand theft, prosecutors and the defense jointly recommended that Crook get four to six years in prison with no post-release control added, and that is what Donofrio gave him.


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