LIMA — A 27-year-old Lima man described by Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge David Cheney as “a borderline dangerous individual” with a “significant history of criminal convictions” was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison on a trio of gun-related charges.
Paris Jackson, whom the judge said has had five prior felony cases against him in Jacksonville, Florida, was handed a six-year prison term on a second-degree felony charge of felonious assault — with a mandatory additional three years for the use of a firearm during the commission of the crime.
The judge also sentenced Jackson to 12 months in prison on a fourth-degree felony count of carrying a concealed weapon, and an identical prison term for the improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, also a felony of the fourth degree.
Jackson was convicted in May following a trial to the court in connection with an incident that took place Feb. 1 in the parking lot at the Lima Estates apartment complex in the 700 block of East Fourth Street.
Police responded to the scene that afternoon in response to a report of gunshots fired. According to police, Jackson and Jason Ward met in the parking lot to execute a drug deal. An argument ensued and, according to a witness, Jackson brandished a handgun and fired shots in Ward’s direction.
The state pinned its case on surveillance videos taken at the apartment complex that appeared to show the confrontation between Jackson and Ward. The man described as Jackson appeared at several points to be pointing a firearm in Ward’s direction.
In his closing arguments at trial, Defense Attorney Greg Donohue said what took place in the apartment parking lot that day was “nothing more than a verbal argument about pot.” Prior to sentencing on Wednesday, Donohue again disputed information contained in a pre-sentence report that pertained to Ward, who was not called by the state to testify at trial and reportedly cannot be found by police. Donohue asked that the report be placed on the record “for use in a possible appellate process” and later indicated that the verdict in the case will be appealed in coming days.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.