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Love triangle shooter heads to prison

WARREN — A Middlefield man received an indefinite seven- to nine-year prison term for his part in a Jan. 31, 2021, shooting at a Mauro Circle apartment complex in Niles, where a stray bullet injured an innocent bystander watching television.

Nicklas E. Trkula, 22, of Grove Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of felonious assault, discharging a firearm into a habitation and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. The sentence handed down by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice includes a mandatory three-year prison term because a gun was used.

Trkula was remorseful before the sentence was pronounced.

“I am truly sorry for what happened that day. I pray for forgiveness every day,” Trkula told the judge.

Trkula’s lawyer, Desirae Dipiero, called it “an unfortunate situation.”

Prosecutors said the shooting sprung from a love triangle in which Trkula’s live-in girlfriend had started a relationship with another man.

“There was some animosity expressed on social media,” Assistant Prosecutor Michael Burnett said .

According to reports, Trkula took a Glock 45 9mm semiautomatic handgun with him and headed to the Mauro Circle apartments, where the other man lived. The shooting started and one of the bullets went through another apartment and struck an innocent man who was sitting in his living room chair watching television.

The victim, who had a leg wound, did not appear in court to deliver an impact statement, but Burnett said the victim agreed to the sentence for Trkula.

Police said Trkula had fled the shooting scene and was tracked to his Middlefield home.

When he is released from prison, Trkula will face mandatory five-year supervision.

gvogrin@tribtoday.com

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