Life prison sentence for

boy in Craigslist killings

A Stow teenager convicted of participating in Ohio's so-called Craigslist murders will be spending the rest of his life in jail with no chance of parole.

Brogan Rafferty, 17, sat stoically Nov. 9 in Summit County Common Pleas Court in Akron while Judge Lynne Callahan, choking back emotion, delivered the maximum possible sentence.

"You got dealt a lousy hand in life," Callahan said, "but none of that is an excuse for murder."

The defense has said it plans to file an appeal.

After a couple of tearful statements made by and on behalf of friends and family members of the three deceased and one living victim, defense attorney John Alexander referenced the past several months he's spent with Rafferty, noting the teen was never in a position where he lacked remorse for his actions.

-- From the Stow Sentry

Mantua man heading to

prison for soliciting sex

A 26-year-old Mantua Township man was sentenced Nov. 7 to four years in prison and labeled a sex offender for trespassing inside Crestwood High School in Mantua in April, where was accused of groping a girl and solicited others for sex.

Trevor A. Haylett had no comment before Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow sentenced him to four years in the Ohio prison system and labeled him a Tier I sex offender.

As a requirement of his sex offender status, Haylett must register his address and other information with his local sheriff's office once a year for 15 years, Enlow said.

Haylett pleaded guilty Sept. 11 to one count each of burglary, a second-degree felony, gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, and importuning, a fifth-degree felony.

Defense attorney Chris Wells asked Enlow to let his client receive mental health and rehabilitative care instead of a prison sentence.

He said Haylett suffers from several mental conditions, including narcissistic personality disorder, as well as an alcohol addiction.

Wells said many of his client's problems resulted from a traumatic brain injury he suffered in a traffic crash that Haylett's family previously said happened on Route 82 in Hiram Township in January 2005.

-- From the Record-Courier

Car hits, kills pedestrian

A Freedom Township woman was struck and killed by a car while walking on Route 88 on Nov. 6 in an incident investigated by the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Linda A. Cain, 62, was struck and seriously injured by a 2004 Chrysler Sebring after entering the roadway just north of Asbury Road at about 6:21 p.m. She lived on Route 88 and was near her residence at the time of the incident.

The vehicle, driven by Jerry Stout, 52, of Windham was headed southwest. He was not injured, troopers said.

Cain was transported to Akron City Hospital by LifeFlight helicopter and died there, according to the highway patrol.

-- From the Record-Courier

Mushrooms, pot grower

serves 8 years in prison

A Hiram Township man convicted of growing hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana on his property in February has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $17,500 in fines.

Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman last week sentenced Travis E. Steele, 38, to eight years in prison on each of two felony charges and another 36 months on a third charge, all to run concurrent to one another.

Steele also was ordered to forfeit $770 in cash, a 1980 Harley Davidson low rider motorcycle, Cub Cadet lawn tractor, laptop computer, iPad and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia to the drug task force.

He pleaded guilty Oct. 1 to one count each of cultivation of psilocin mushrooms, cultivation of marijuana and endangering children, a third-degree felony.

He was arrested on Feb. 15.

Assistant Prosecutor Eugene Muldowney told Pittman the state would not seize his house and property on Route 82 because it has "a lot of liens on it."

-- From the Record-Courier

APL rescues emaciated

dog in southern Portage

A dog found starving and near death in Atwater Township is now in the hands of the Portage Animal Protective League.

The PAPL took the dog after it got a call from Portage County Dog Warden David McIntyre on Nov. 6.

The dog had wandered into a garage. "When the woman found it and tried to wake it up, it couldn't move. It's in miserable shape," said McIntyre.

APL staff were horrified when they saw the boxer/mastiff mix. It was huddled in a cage with blankets the dog warden staff had given to keep warm.

"He was so thin and emaciated that he couldn't stand or walk on his own," said ALP Executive Director Chalan Lowry.

"And his body temperature was 92 degrees [normal is 101-102]. He was hypothermic and every bone in his body was showing. At this temperature, he was close to death."

A veterinarian's examination made the severity of his situation clearer. He weighed 47 pounds but should weigh about 90. He was dehydrated. He had to be held up by staff because he was too weak to stand on his own.

"He's not out of the woods yet and will have a long recovery once he is able to leave the hospital," said Lowry.

Portage approves plan

for a nonprofit hospital

Portage County commissioners voted Nov. 8 to approve a lease agreement that will lead to Robinson Memorial Hospital's change of status from county-owned to not-for-profit.

Commissioners approved the conversion on March 13, subject to negotiation of the lease agreement between the county and a new corporation that will operate the hospital.

While the agreement is effective immediately, the final change isn't expected to take place until the middle of next year.

Stephen Colecchi, the hospital's president and chief executive officer, said the hospital cannot start operating as a not-for-profit until the IRS approves the hospital's tax exempt application.

"We have targeted on or about July 1, 2013. So until then we'll continue to operate as a county-owned hospital," Colecchi said.

The vote was 2-1 with Commissioners Chris Smeiles and Maureen Frederick voting for it and Tommie Jo Marsilio against.