Lack of witness cooperation hinders prosecutor’s case against man accused of firing gun at West Side bar

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Day said witnesses dodged subpoenas and refused to speak to investigators on the phone

Malcolm Hailstock

Credit: WKBN

YOUNGSTOWN. Ohio (WYTV) — An assistant prosecutor said today at a sentencing for a man accused of firing a gun at a West Side bar that lack of cooperation from witnesses hampered his case.

Malcolm Hailstock, 27, of Farrell, Pa., was sentenced today in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court by Judge John Durkin to 18 months in prison on a charge of obstruction of justice with a firearm specification.

Under a plea agreement, Hailstock was given credit for six months served on the obstruction charge but he must do a year in prison on the firearm specification.

Hailstock was originally charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of felonious assault with firearm specifications, carrying a concealed weapon, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and obstructing justice for a shooting in May 2019 outside the Fyrst Lounge on Steel Street.

Witnesses told police Hailstock got in a fight with someone in the bar and went to a parking lot, got a gun, and fired several shots. Police later found him hiding in another parking lot. No one was injured.

The bar was later heavily damaged in a fire that was ruled an arson. It has not reopened since the fire.

Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Day told the judge that he was kept from pursuing far more serious charges because witnesses in the case refused to cooperate.

Day said witnesses dodged subpoenas and refused to speak to investigators on the phone.

“They would hang up when they found out who was on the other line,” Day said. “I’m disappointed, to say the least,” Day added.

Defense attorney Michael Kivlighan said the case was a good one for his client because he had a legitimate self defense claim.

Nevertheless, Kivlighan added the case was “not without peril” for his client so he thought the plea bargain was a good one for Hailstock.

Hailstock declines to say anything except to thank his lawyer and the court.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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