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Youngstown man seeks to rap during house arrest

Man guilty in Liberty shooting wants to bypass his monitoring

WARREN — A Youngstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of aggravated assault and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle for his part in a shooting April 14 at the Oak Tree Apartments off Hadley Avenue in Liberty.

The attorney for Derek J. Sanders, 24, also asked permission from Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew D. Logan to bypass his electronically monitored house arrest two days per week — so he can continue his rap music recording career. Sanders has been free since April 21 after posting a 10 percent cash bond of $100,000 with the stipulation for house arrest, records show.

The defendant agreed to waive the usual grand jury procedure in charging people with felonies and instead opted to plead guilty to a bill of information.

Logan said he will consider the motion from defense attorney Samuel Amendolara, who asked that Sanders, a rap music recording artist, be able to go to a Mahoning Avenue, Youngstown, recording studio two times per week to continue his career.

The judge said Sanders, who also pleaded to a gun specification, which carries a mandatory one-year prison sentence, will have to undergo a background investigation conducted by the county probation department before sentencing.

Sanders faces a potential four years in prison, including the mandatory one year for using a gun in the offense.

Sanders is accused of putting a Youngstown man in the hospital for injuries he received in the shooting. A police report said neighbors at the apartment complex heard about four or five gunshots as two or three cars were sitting in the parking lot.

Liberty Township police Chief Toby Meloro said at the time of the shooting the bullets easily could have gone into the apartment building and hurt innocent people.

Sanders was arrested by Liberty police shortly after the shooting. Detectives accused Sanders of shooting Dwayne Fields in the back over an issue involving a woman.

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