Assaults on girlfriend net man prison sentence

YOUNGSTOWN — Sammy F. Anderson Jr., 28, was sentenced to 15.5 to 19.5 years in prison Tuesday after being convicted at trial of two counts of felonious assault, one count of having weapons while not allowed and two gun specifications.

Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court handed down the sentence.

The two felonious assaults were for two instances in which Anderson brutally assaulted his girlfriend — once in June and once in September. The assaults both began in her car while Anderson was driving it.

Caitlyn Andrews, county assistant prosecutor, summarized Anderson’s crimes as “One time he brutally beat her and broke three bones in her face, the other time being when he pistol whipped her. In that incident, there was a video the court saw several times where she is lying on the ground in a pool of blood with injuries he caused and he is putting his foot in her face and he is mocking her.”

She added that there is a prior “significant history of abuse” involving Anderson and the woman, “including the time where he threw her out of a vehicle and when he bit her ear off,” she said.

“And he actually admitted to doing that in the interview he gave to Detective (Jerry) Fulmer in this case,” she said. Anderson also has “constantly convinced her not to go forward with charges. That has happened in the past. He did it also in this case. He even said in his interview with Detective Fulmer, ‘You guys are wasting your time. She’s never going through. She’s never going to show up for court.'”

Anderson “called her over 1,400 times between October, when he was initially charged, and the time of the jury trial two weeks ago. He did everything he could possibly do to get her not to come to court,” Andrews said.

“We eventually had to get a material witness warrant. She did come in. She did testify,” Andrews said. “Even after she testified, he called her that day from the jail. When we came in the following day, he was instructed he could not call her anymore. He reaches out to his mother. He tells her to contact her,” Andrews said.

“It has been constant, incessant harassment of this victim.” In addition to crimes against the woman in this case, Anderson has convictions for aggravated assault with a firearm, cocaine possession, carrying a concealed weapon and three convictions for having weapons while not allowed, Andrews said.

“This is an extremely violent man who has shown what he is capable of over and over again. There is a significant concern for the safety of this victim as well as the public in general,” Andrews said.

The victim was in court for the sentencing, but Andrews said she did not wish to speak. But, the victim did ask Andrews to tell the judge she “hopes the defendant gets the help he needs.”


Lawanda Maddox, Anderson’s mother, told the judge before sentencing that her son “needs help.” She said this will be her son’s third time in prison.

Before she could say more, the judge asked her, “What have you done to help your son?” Then he said he saw Maddox in court when the victim was testifying. He said the way Maddox sat in the gallery in the victim’s line of vision seemed to be “an attempt to intimidate her not to testify,” the judge said. “You’re encouraging him in his actions.”

Maddox denied she was trying to intimidate the victim. “I talk to her daily,” she said.

Maddox added, “I don’t condone nothing my son has done, and I agree he does deserve some type of punishment, but not the time they’re talking about. He needs help. He came home with mental issues.”

Prosecutors recommended that Anderson get 20.5 years to 24.5 years in prison.

Maddox mentioned there was a time when her son talked about “seeing aliens” and “something had lifted him up off the ground.”

The judge interjected again, “Yes, and what have you done to help him,” he asked again.

“I tried to get him help,” Maddox said. While he was in a juvenile mental health facility, he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and possibly post traumatic stress disorder, Maddox said.

Anderson’s attorney, Mark Lavelle, told the judge he thought a 20-year sentence was way too high and advised that the victim was in court Tuesday on Anderson’s behalf. “She’s not here to hurt him.” Donofrio said that is “beyond my comprehension.”

Anderson spoke briefly, saying “I want to apologize for my actions.”

The judge said, “You don’t need to apologize to me. I think you need to apologize to the victim,” but Anderson did not.

Donofrio said Anderson’s family had “come to court now asking for the judge to give him help. I think they missed the boat on that one.”

The judge added, “He’s acted like the law doesn’t apply to him, repeatedly beating (the victim) doesn’t make Mr. Anderson superior to anyone. What it does is make him less of a man.”

The judge said one of the “most disgusting things I’ve seen in this court is Mr. Anderson’s recording of his actions after he severely beat her and damaged her face, her face was unrecognizable. Her bones were broken. And then (he was) demeaning her by mocking her as the prosecutor suggested, stepping on her swollen and disfigured face. That makes Mr. Anderson less than human.”

The judge said Anderson repeatedly violating the no-contact order he imposed “shows your arrogance and defiance of the law, as well.”

Donofrio also mentioned Anderson’s mother contacting the victim, “getting to her so she doesn’t show up for the multiple times you have beaten her. Biting her ear off? Again, that just doesn’t make you human.”

Donofrio said he doesn’t know if prosecutors will charge Maddox as a result of her actions toward the victim, but “her actions are chargeable.”

Have an interesting story? Contact Ed Runyan by email at erunyan@vindy.com.


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