The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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January 25, 2013

Shooting charges dropped, man admits to fighting

SHENANGO VALLEY — A Sharon man who maintained he did not shoot up a house three years ago in Farrell pleaded guilty to a charge related to events that led up to it.

Terry R. Dean, 21, no longer faces charges of 10 counts of aggravated assault and single counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, carrying a firearm without a license and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, which were dropped by prosecutors.

The plea deal, which included Dean pleading guilty to a charge of risking catastrophe for setting a mattress fire in his jail cell, was made Tuesday with Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems acknowledging the shooting case had “witness issues.”

“There was some conflict in the testimony of witnesses as to who did the shooting,” said defense attorney Tedd Nesbit. “He (Dean) denied being involved in the shooting. It was a difficult case for the commonwealth.”

The shooting occurred Nov. 21, 2009. There was an encounter at a Sharon-New Castle Road business in Farrell with Dean, Jha’lil Harrison and others arguing with Terrelle Jackson, Jaaron “Jake” Hartley and others over one man sleeping with another’s girlfriend, according to earlier court testimony.

The argument broke up but many of those involved ended up in front of Hartley’s home at 624 Hamilton Ave., Farrell. Jackson, a former all-state football player, knocked Dean unconscious with a punch to the mouth.

Dean quickly came to and left with Harrison and others. Dean told Harrison to get an assault rifle that had been kept at a vacant house on George Street. Harrison complied and drove Dean to near Hartley’s house. Both men knew Jackson was in Hartley’s home.

When Harrison – who initially had been charged with shooting up the house – pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault in March 2011, he said Dean was the shooter. At his sentencing four months later, Harrison said he did not see the shooting.

Harrison, 19, is serving a sentence of 2 to 4 years in Mercer County Jail.

In his disorderly conduct plea, Dean admitted fighting earlier in the evening, Nesbit said.

Dean could be sentenced to up to a year in jail on the disorderly conduct charge, but up to 7 years on the risking catastrophe charge.

Dean was sentenced in November 2011 to 3 to 10 years for participating in a July 11, 2011, armed robbery of Walgreens in Sharon.

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