Man who attacked Tribune carriers sentenced to 9 years

WARREN – A 27-year-old Warren man pleaded guilty Thursday to a series of charges stemming from an attack on two Tribune Chronicle newspaper carriers in January.

Darren Lee of 1741 West Ave. said nothing as Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice handed down the sentence, honoring a plea agreement worked out between a prosecutor and defense attorney.

Lee pleaded guilty to two counts of felonious assault, possession of cocaine and heroin, all with firearm specifications, carrying a concealed weapon, and having weapons under disability that pertains to a prior conviction in 2013 for possession of drugs that forbids him from handling firearms.

The firearm specifications totaled four years of the sentence and felonious assault charges amounted to five-year concurrent sentences that run consecutively to the firearm specifications.

Assistant county prosecutor Chris Becker praised quick work by Patrolmen Chris Martin and Justin Fenstermaker. ”After shots were fired, they caught Lee red-handed and caught him with the gun and the drugs,” Becker said.

Lee fired his gun at Michael Young, 43, and his 18-year-old daughter, Jennifer, on Jan. 30.

The Youngs were delivering newspapers in a car in the 1700 block of West Avenue N.W. early in the morning.

“My dad has been delivering papers for years and I’ve been helping him the past six or seven at least and we’ve never had a problem, never felt like were were in danger or anything. But this was a very close call. It still almost seems unreal,” Jennifer Young said two days after the shooting.

She said a bullet went through the windshield of her father’s vehicle on as the two were delivering newspapers. She was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car at the time. The bullet also went through her hat, which was on the dashboard. Another bullet put a hole in the passenger side.

The Youngs, who have nine newspaper routes and continue their deliveries, said they have no clue why Lee or anyone would shoot at them. They said they do not know Lee and never saw who fired the shots.

When officers went to 1751 West Ave. N.W., several neighbors began yelling from their front doors that the person doing the shooting had just run east down Idylwild Street, the report states.

Police searched the area and saw a man matching the description of the one they were given and running east down the middle of Idylwild.