YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Boardman man accused of shooting at police in the township learned his sentence Friday.
A judge sentenced Stephen Wilson to 18 to 23-and-a-half years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of felonious assault. He’ll be at least 72 years old before he can ever ask for parole.
Confined to a wheelchair, Wilson sat quietly as Boardman Police Chief Todd Werth detailed the story that led to the defendant being disabled.
According to a police report, officers asked Wilson to use the sidewalk after spotting him walking in the middle of Market Street at Gertrude Avenue around 12:15 a.m. on September 7. Police said Wilson walked away and later fired a shot, which hit a police cruiser.
“As the officer drove away from Mr. Wilson, he fired one shot at the officer, striking the rear of the cruiser,” Werth said.
Within minutes, nine more Boardman officers and troopers raced to the scene and shouted for Wilson to drop his gun and surrender. Ten minutes and several blocks later, Wilson turned around and shot at the officers who returned fire, wounding the suspect.
“The fact that no other officer was severely injured or killed that evening is truly a miracle,” Werth said.
Still, Werth told Judge John Durkin the stress from that incident still lingers for the officers and troopers on the scene, as well as their families. He said police understand the dangers involved with protecting the public with one expectation in return.
“Those who do us harm, however, answer without excuse to their conduct,” Werth said.Boardman man accused of shooting at police facing almost a dozen charges
Wilson apologized to the officers and even thanked them for rendering first aid after he’d been shot.
Prosecutors say if not for the officers’ training and restraint, the outcome that night may have been very diferent.
“He was still carrying a weapon. He was being non-compliant and yet they still did not shoot him until he actually fired a round in their direction,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains.