Shooting nets 28-year-old prison term

YOUNGSTOWN — Johnathan Gabrelcik, 28, of Pointview Avenue on the South Side, was sentenced to 4 to 5.5 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to firing a gun into the home of a person he had been feuding with on Midlothian Boulevard, a couple streets away.

Gabrelcik pleaded guilty earlier to a second-degree felony of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or a school safety zone with a one-year gun specification.

Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge R. Scott Krichbaum imposed the sentence jointly recommended by the prosecution and defense.

According to Youngstown police and court records, Gabrelcik was charged with misdemeanor aggravated menacing Aug. 16 for firing a firearm into the ground during an argument at the neighbor’s house Aug. 12. That charge was filed in Youngstown Municipal Court but later dismissed.

Meanwhile, the same house was hit by about 10 gunshots Aug. 14, two days after the menacing incident. No one was injured, but there were people in the house, said Chad Zubal, a Youngstown police detective.

A search warrant was issued for Gabrelcik’s house and the search that ensued generated evidence necessary to file the more serious discharging-a-firearm-at-or-into-a-habitation Dec. 6 in Youngstown Municipal Court.

Evidence also indicated that the bullet shell casings from the gunfire into the ground Aug. 12 matched the casings found at the home two days later, Zubal said.

During Monday’s hearing, Tom Zena, Gabrelcik’s attorney, said Gabrelcik has no prior felony record. Gabrelcik apologized for the shooting saying, “I know I was wrong.”

When asked by the judge about the trouble with his neighbor, Gabrelcik said, “We just had past arguments. It was a big feud for a couple years now.”

Krichbaum said “Shooting up someone’s house is about as loaded up a thing as can happen, and anything can happen. I’ve had countless cases where people just start shooting at other people’s houses and little babies get killed.”

He said, “It certainly is an intentional act. It’s something for which you have to be punished. An accidental occurrence is a whole lot different, but there is nothing accidental about pulling out a gun and shooting up someone’s house.”

Gabrelcik gets credit for nine days served in jail awaiting trial.

Have an interesting story? Email Ed Runyan at erunyan@vindy.com.


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