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Liberty woman avoids prison time

Granted probation in obstruction case

WARREN — A Liberty Township woman charged with harboring a suspect in a Youngstown shooting death in February was reluctantly given probation on Thursday by a Trumbull County judge.

Jasmine M. Jackson, 24, of 1465 Townsend Ave., Apt. 6, Liberty, appeared for a sentencing hearing before Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice, who said he wanted to send her to prison — but followed the recommendation of the adult probation department.

“I can’t think of a more despicable thing to do than to protect someone who is accused of murder. I want to know what you were thinking,” Rice told her.

The probation department has approved Jackson attending the Northeast Ohio Alternative Community Program.

Jackson underwent a background investigation conducted by probation officials after pleading guilty Sept. 9 to one count of obstruction of justice.

“You just got the only opportunity to avoid prison that you are going to get. NEOCAP is the last stop before prison,” Rice told the defendant.

Jackson was charged with not answering the door to her apartment when police were looking for Robert L. Shelton. Authorities say Jackson lied about Shelton’s whereabouts when in fact he was staying with her.

Rice said Jackson had told the authorities to “get a warrant.”

Shelton, 44, is accused of shooting to death Dymond D. Ortello, 34, outside of the Brothers of Power Classic Cars Club on Logan Avenue Feb. 9. Also that night, two other victims exchanged gunfire inside the bar and died as a result.

Court records show that Shelton, who is facing charges of aggravated murder, possession of drugs, possessing wepaons under restrictions and tampering with evidence, will be in Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney’s court on Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.

Jackson, who was represented by attorney Charles Mickens, is facing a host of drug possession charges after authorities found drugs in her apartment during that Feb. 11 search for Shelton.

She was arraigned Wednesday before Judge W. Wyatt McKay on charges of possession of LSD, possession of a fentanyl-related compound, aggravated possession of drugs and aggravated possession of crack / cocaine. A pre-trial hearing in that case is set for Nov. 18.

Jackson also was charged with a probation violation out of Struthers Municipal Court for her actions in February while members of the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitives Task Force searched for Shelton, 44. Struthers Judge Dominic Leone ordered Jackson to serve an additional year on probation a 2017 conviction for misdemeanor possession of controlled substances.

Rice ordered Jackson be taken into custody until a bed is available at NEOCAP. She had been free after posting $10,000 bond.

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