Man jailed in probation violation

WARREN A 22-year-old Farmdale man who spent almost eight months behind bars in connection with the death of his best friend, was sentenced back to Trumbull County Jail on Monday this time on a probation violation.

Ryan Charles Wrightsman of state Route 87, pleaded true, or guilty, to the violation in front of Judge Peter Kontos, who imposed an additional four months.

Wrightsman twice tested positive for marijuana in his system, according to his probation officer. He was arrested April 8 after the tests in October and March.

He also was reminded that he owes nearly $9,000 in restitution ordered by Kontos last June when he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Joshua Soles, of state Route 7, Vernon.

Soles was killed Nov. 1, 2011, in his own home while a third man, Zack Davis, witnessed the shooting as all three were drinking alcohol.

Wrightsman remained in jail from Nov. 1 until his plea in mid-June and was given credit for time served.

Wrightsman pleaded guilty to a bill of information charging him with misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and using weapons while intoxicated. He was initially charged with murder but indicted on a manslaughter charge.

While the three were drinking and smoking marijuana, Soles put a loaded rifle to his head threatening to kill himself and daring Wrightsman to help him pull the trigger.

Davis called 911, at first reporting it as a suicide. But he changed the story later. Prosecutors said it isn’t clear if Wrightsman tried to disarm Soles and the gun went off in a struggle.

The coroner was reportedly prepared to testify that Soles’ arm wasn’t long enough to reach the trigger of the rifle. But Wrightsman’s attorney also was prepared to rebut that testimony and other state forensic evidence with his own experts.

Kontos initially sentenced Wrightsman to the maximum six months on each charge, running the sentences consecutively, but suspending four of the months for a total of eight months.

The judge also placed Wrightsman on five years probation and ordered him to pay $8,978 within a year to the Soles family to cover the cost of burial. Wrightsman also was given permission to serve some of the probation time at a Sarasota, Fla., facility for clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Wrightsman suffered severe head injuries in a car crash in Cortland two years ago.