LISBON - Zachariah Gordon, who broke into a woman's home in East Liverpool last April, was sentenced to probation following his mother's pleas on his behalf before Judge Scott Washam in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Thursday.
Gordon, 23, Wood Alley, East Liverpool, is currently recovering from a gunshot wound to his head. While some contend it may have been self-inflicted, Gordon's mother, Denise Ross, testified experts told her a predominately right handed person could not have fired that gun with his left hand. She said she believes someone else shot him, but it was never proven. He recently had his eye socket reconstructed and will have surgery again in April to have a new prosthetic eyeball put in place.
However the injury occurred, Ross said she needed to explain to Washam how it affects her son. She noted he does things and says things without reasoning them through first, something doctors have told her will not change due to his lack of part of his frontal lobe. Ross said her son has still made great progress, keeping his home tidy and doing the right things which makes her proud of him.
"If you saw how far he has come," Ross said, "and I'm so afraid if he has to go away, he will go backward instead of forward."
For his own part, Gordon, who pleaded guilty to burglary in January, told Washam he had no intention of stealing from Melinda Christy, his neighbor. Instead, he had gone into the neighbor's home to get his spare house keys after locking himself out of his home with the stove on. He added he was not looking for prescription drugs, which Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart had claimed. Gordon said he already has enough prescription drugs of his own.
Washam noted Gordon was only found carrying his own keys when he was caught leaving the house. He sentenced him to four years probation, while notifying him if he does not comply with probation terms he will be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.
"It's up to you to determine which way you are going to go," Washam said.