Man ordered to treatment in strangulation case

YOUNGSTOWN — A Youngstown man will receive probation and court-ordered therapy after pleading guilty to abusing his ex-girlfriend in February.

On Tuesday, Darnell Jennings, 27, of East Lucius Avenue, pleaded guilty to felony counts of strangulation and aggravated possession of drugs. In exchange, Mahoning County prosecutors dropped a charge of assault. Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge John Durkin, consented to recommendations by the prosecutor and defense attorney Lou DiFabio that Jennings be under CCA supervision for two years and receive drug treatment and anger management counseling.

Durkin suspended all fines and costs and gave Jennings credit for the 112 days he already has served in jail.

Both attorneys said the victim had contacted them and that her sentiments were considered and factored into the sentencing recommendations.

“She said the defendant is basically a good person but he needs help,” said prosecuting attorney Daniel Yozwiak.

“My client has told me many times that he is a good guy except when he is using drugs,” DiFabio said. Jennings also spoke on his own behalf.

“I’m ready to get my life together,” he said. “I’ve been through this too many times and I do not want to do it anymore.”

A Youngstown police report states that the victim told police Jennings came to her house at about 4 a.m. Feb. 21 and woke her up. She said she had a previous relationship with Jennings but he does not stay there.

They got into an argument, and Jennings forced the woman’s head through a wall in the living room and then strangled her until she nearly passed out. He also cut her on her wrist and back of her knee with a sharp object, the report states.

Police found Jennings in front of 3004 Southern Boulevard, and he was taken into custody on a warrant from another incident.

The report stated that officers found two oxycontin pills in his pocket.

On Tuesday, Durkin noted that Jennings is still serving a sentence for felony a drug possession charge from Youngstown Municipal Court. DiFabio said that Judge Renee DiSalvo told him she may terminate that sentence in light of Jennings being ordered to CCA as part of this plea agreement.

Durkin and the Yozwiak also agreed that a no-contact order between Jennings and the woman will remain in place unless and until she files a direct request with the court to discontinue it.

Have an interesting story? Contact Dan Pompili by email at dpompili@vindy.com.

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