LIMA — A Lima man who is alleged to have struck a woman with a handgun during an altercation more than a year ago was sentenced Monday to a minimum of eight years in prison.
Rashawn Cannon, 26, was indicted by a grand jury in August of last year on single counts of felonious assault, a second-degree felony that included firearm and repeat violent offender specifications, and having weapons under disability, also a second-degree felony. He entered in an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to felonious assault minus the RVO specification, along with the weapons charge.
According to court records, Lima police were dispatched on Aug. 6, 2022, to the 600 block of Prospect Avenue after Cannon became involved in an argument with Cameron Lott. Shots were fired inside a residence by Cannon, who then fled, police said.
A woman inside the home said Cannon produced a gun and was waving it around and then pointed it at her, saying the incident was all her fault. She told investigators Cannon threatened to kill her and then struck her with the gun, causing her nose and mouth to bleed, court documents show.
Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Josh Carp said the woman suffered serious physical injuries, which included 16 stitches to her lip and extensive dental work, as well as psychological harm.
Cannon from the outset has maintained it was Lott, not himself, who struck the woman and caused her injuries. He told Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffery Reed on Monday that he was at the Prospect Avenue home on the night in question to grieve the death two days earlier of a friend who was shot and killed.
“I did not go over there looking to harm anyone; I went to grieve my friend,” Cannon said. He said the female started an altercation with Lott, her boyfriend at the time, and “he slapped her three times.” Cannon said that when he attempted to break up the fight Lott produced a gun “and fired it five times.”
Cannon said he took a firearm from another male in the home and attempted to get people of out the house safely.
Allen County Public Defender Kenneth Sturgill the victim in the case told conflicting stories to police on separate occasions throughout the case. The defense attorney said the victim’s credibility was suspect.
“It’s clear the victim was dishonest and was protecting Cameron Lott” when speaking with investigators, the attorney said.
Cannon, who was on parole at the time of the incident, apologized to the community for his role in the incident.
“This man (Lott) shot at me. I was just trying to help this young lady,” he said, “but I know now that I need to change my people, places and things.”