The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 5, 2013

Death was no accident

Judge says bad decisions caused Lee Lee's death

---- — Many people have referred to the gun death of L’Angelo “Lee Lee” Ford as an accident.

“I don’t believe it was an accident,” Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert G. Yeatts said Wednesday. “I believe it wasn’t intentional, but I don’t believe it was an accident.”

Ford, 17, of Ravine Place, Sharon, died Jan. 20 in a local hospital after being shot at a gathering of young people at a home on Strawbridge Avenue, Sharon.

Jontae M. Barnes, 20, of Liberty Street, Sharon, had brought a revolver to the gathering and was handling it when Ford grabbed at it and it went off.

Yeatts said Barnes brought a loaded gun to the gathering, pointed it at people there, and that he allowed Ford to come up to it.

“These weren’t accidents,” Yeatts said. “These were decisions.”

Barnes pleaded guilty June 20 to charges of involuntary manslaughter and carrying a firearm without a license.

While Yeatts followed the sentencing recommendations tendered by the defense and prosecution - 1 year less 1 day to 2 years less 1 day in jail followed by 10 years’ probation - he stressed to Barnes that he will get out of jail still a very young man. Yeatts wanted to know what Barnes intended to do with his life. At 20, Barnes is an unwed father of a boy born two days after Ford died, has never worked, and has four criminal convictions for disorderly conduct and drunken driving.

Yeatts said he was hoping to hear Barnes say that he planned to get a job, go to school, provide for his son or voice some other concrete plan. Barnes talked only in generalities, Yeatts said.

Yeatts asked Barnes why he had the gun. Barnes said he did not know, so Yeatts answered the question for him. Young people have guns to be important, get respect, be tough, Yeatts said. What they end up as are street thugs. Barnes was headed down that road, Yeatts said.

Text Only
Local News
  • City zoners give nod to Speedway signs

    Speedway cleared a hurdle Thursday when city zoners granted a variance for signs at the company’s gas station and convenience store proposed for downtown Sharon.

    August 1, 2014

  • Retirement is definite, hiring replacement isn’t

    Farrell Fire Chief Joseph Santell will be retiring at the end of this year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Natural gas rates drop 5.6 pct.

    National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. on Thursday announced it lowered residential natural gas rates by 5.6 percent, effective today through October.

    August 1, 2014

  • Audit calls for better record-keeping policies

    The annual auditor’s report for the City of Farrell was presented by City Manager Michael Ceci to council members Monday.

    August 1, 2014

  • trout island trail paving Hot on the trail

    Work began last week to pave a section of the Trout Island Trail, replacing a crushed limestone surface.

    August 1, 2014 3 Photos

  • CIRT team in Jackson Center Man arrested after shooting standoff

    One Jackson Center man is recovering from a bullet wound, and the borough resident accused of shooting him sits in jail after a long night of drinking that state police say turned into a case of attempted homicide.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Speedway location City on track for new Speedway store

    Speedway is lining up its administrative and bureaucratic cones on plans for the gas station and convenience store chain to zoom into downtown Sharon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Guards, county OK deal

    County officials and guards at the Mercer County Jail have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, halts the idea of privatizing operations at the facility.

    July 31, 2014

  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014