Man gets 3-year term for role in homicide

By Peter H. Milliken

A co-defendant was sentenced last week to 16 years in prison.

YOUNGSTOWN — A 23-year-old man who initially faced a homicide charge but ended up pleading guilty to abduction and being a felon with a gun has been sentenced to three years in prison.

As recommended by the prosecution, Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed the sentence Monday on Reshaud Biggs, of East Florida Avenue.

With credit for the 527 days he has already been jailed in this case, however, Biggs will be released about 181‚Ñ2 months from now.

Biggs was initially charged with the Dec. 30, 2006, aggravated murder of Anthony Perez, 31, of Plazaview Court, and the attempted murder of Perez’s brother, William Burr, 27, of East Midlothian Boulevard, Struthers, as Perez and Burr detailed a car on Clearmount Drive.

The abduction charge alleged that Biggs restrained Burr’s liberty during the shooting.

Perez’s mother, Ida Perez, and his fianc e, Christina Marie Santiago, told the judge they felt three years was too lenient.

“My son was shot over 12 times. It was a senseless crime. This can never be forgiven or forgotten,” Perez said, noting that Biggs has a prior criminal record.

The prosecution dropped the charges of aggravated murder and attempted murder against Biggs based on witness statements that Biggs’ gun remained tucked in his waistband, and that Biggs’ brother, Darrin D. Davis, 19, of East Florida Avenue, fired an assault rifle.

Police said the shooting stemmed from an argument over the alleged theft of a car.

After Davis pleaded guilty to the attempted murder and abduction of Burr and to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter in Perez’s death, Judge Evans sentenced Davis on Friday to 16 years in prison.

Biggs, who apologized for his actions before he was sentenced, had agreed to testify against Davis had Davis gone to trial.

Burr, who was to testify concerning Perez’s death, wasn’t hit by gunfire in the Clearmount Drive confrontation, but Burr was fatally shot July 8, 2007, outside a South Avenue pizza shop.

After Burr’s death, “We were left with a hollow case,” in the Clearmount Drive homicide, said Martin P. Desmond, assistant county prosecutor.

Without Biggs’ cooperation with the prosecution, Biggs and Davis likely would have avoided conviction, Desmond added.

A three-year prison term is appropriate for Biggs because of his “minimal role’’ and acceptance of responsibility in the Clearmount incident, Desmond said, adding that witnesses reported Biggs tried to discourage Davis from shooting.

Biggs’ lawyer, Lou DeFabio, who asked the judge to impose the three-year prison term on Biggs, said of his client: “There is no evidence to suggest that this gentleman wanted anyone dead that day — just the contrary.”

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