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Man’s sentence for breaking into mother’s house delayed

March 19, 2013
By DEANNE JOHNSON , Salem News

LISBON - Jonathan Cobb was scheduled to be sentenced Friday on a burglary charge involving breaking into his mother's house.

But after Cobb's mother, uncle and a representative from the Counseling Center testified, Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike decided to delay Cobb's sentencing until a further evaluation can be done.

Cobb's mother, Janet Cobb, pointed out that in her mind, her son has served enough time for what happened. She admitted he kicked in her door and came into her home, despite a court order that he was not supposed to be there. He also reportedly made a threat to get a gun and shoot someone.

Although she said he would not be welcome at her house, Janet Cobb said she felt the "whole thing is overblown."

Similarly, her brother, Richard Houston, said he also could not welcome his nephew into his home, but he did not believe prison was the right place for him either. Houston said he has read about the subject and feels the longer a person remains in prison, the more likely they are to return to prison again. Still he did not feel Cobb should just be released either.

"I don't think we should put him out," Houston said. "The system just seems to be set up for failure... I'm not really a fan of the prison system."

Charles Sarachman, of the Columbiana County Mental Health Counseling Center, also suggested Cobb has a five volume case file, which includes counseling at different times since he was young. Drug addiction, a father who was in prison, anxiety issues and mental health issues in the family have attributed to Cobb's issues, according to Sarachman.

Unfortunately, he said Cobb could continue counseling with his center, but he has no home to go to. The only homeless shelters he would be eligible to go to in the area, because of his felony record, are full or have a waiting list of eight or more people.

Pike said he was leaning toward the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center, but because the plea deal had a recommended 12-month prison sentence, no evaluation was done to see if Cobb was eligible to go there. So Pike ordered the evaluation be done quickly and plans to bring Cobb back from the county jail in the next few weeks so sentencing can be done.

Cobb, 22, Roosevelt Avenue, Salem, had offered an Alford plea to the burglary charge on Jan. 22. At one point during the hearing, Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart pointed out Cobb has had several violent crimes in his past, including assaulting a police officer.

djohnson@mojonews.com

 
 

 

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