Man pleads guilty to felonious assault in Youngstown
YOUNGSTOWN — Traeshawn L. Powell, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felonious assault and two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence with a recommendation from prosecutors that he get four to six years in prison when he is sentenced at 10 a.m. Oct. 5.
According to Powell’s indictment, he committed the felonious assault against a man July 19, 2021, and committed the domestic violence offenses against his mother July 4, 2021, and July 12, 2021.
In the felonious assault, Powell assaulted a man, 50, with what the victim said appeared to be a bat on Highland Avenue on the North Side, according to a Youngstown police report.
According to the report, the victim told police he had gone to the home about 6 p.m. to check on his friend, who is Powell’s mother. When the victim was about to leave, Powell arrived. The victim said he felt something strike the back of his head.
He passed out and when he awoke, he could see Powell with what appeared to be a bat, striking him over and over with it, the man said.
Powell’s mother pulled her son off the victim, and the victim drove away. A police officer said he observed the victim with two black eyes and and cuts on his arms, the report states. The victim reported the altercation the next day at the police station.
Powell has been in the Mahoning County jail since Aug. 21, 2021, according to jail records.
Jennifer Paris, assistant county prosecutor, told Judge Anthony D’Apolito that Powell’s mother has not been cooperative in communicating with prosecutors.
In October 2021, Powell’s attorney at the time, Nick Cerni, filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea for Powell, and D’Apolito ordered that a mental health evaluation be performed at the Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio in Austintown.
The judge ruled in December 2021 that Powell was competent to stand trial and sane at the time of the alleged offenses.
Atty. Terry Grenga was appointed to replace Cerni in January 2022. She then filed a new motion for another competency evaluation at the same facility in May 2022.
That evaluation resulted in Powell being found not competent to stand trial, so he was sent to Heartland Behavioral Healthcare Center, a state mental hospital in Massillon, to attempt to restore Powell to competency.
The judge ruled last December that Powell was now again competent to stand trial.
In January, Grenga asked for another competency evaluation, which was done by Robert Stinson of Westerville. In late July, D’Apolito requested the records on Powell at the Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio and Heartland Behavioral Healthcare be provided to Dr. Stinson. Those included records from three local medical services providers.
But Grenga withdrew her earlier motions for competency and sanity during Wednesday’s hearing, and Powell entered a guilty plea to the charges instead.
Grenga said she explained the plea to Powell in a “lengthy process with my client,” and said “I do believe he understands the plea.”
Prosecutors also filed a motion Wednesday in common pleas court asking the grand jury judge to dismiss a felony count of assault on a police officer stemming from a June 25, 2023, incident apparently in the Mahoning County jail.
The filing states that dismissing the assault charge was part of the plea negotiations in the felonious assault case.
This filing states that prosecutors consulted with the alleged victim of the assault through a detective with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, “and he has granted consent given the state’s recommendation for imprisonment in the felonious assault case.”