On Monday, June 26th, Stark County Common Pleas Judge Frank Frochione sentenced two 19-year-old defendants with an unusual form of punishment. Jonas Rohr and Kyle Bodager, charged with inappropriate use of firearm near a prohibited premises, will have to read a book about World War II or the Vietnam War, and then write a five page book report. In addition, they will also be serving at the Ohio Veterans’ Memorial Park for 200 hours after their sentence as part of community service.
Last Fall, Merle Webb was mowing the lawn while two juveniles were shooting in a nearby target practice. When a stray bullet suddenly flung into his jaw, Webb was left injured. The accidental shot resulted in lost teeth, a scarred tongue as well as a painful sinus infection that hindered his normal eating habits. On Monday, when Webb faced the two defendants responsible for his misery, he said the accident almost prevented him from celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. Although he is still in recovery mode, his health conditions are expected to improve over time.
Although the two teens took turns in expressing remorse during trial on Monday, the judge expressed doubts towards their sincerity and their ability to comprehend the seriousness of this situation based on their prior interactions with other law enforcement officials. In order to educate them about freedom and servitude, Rohr and Bodager will begin their jail time on July 4th. While the former is sentenced for a month, the latter is to remain behind bars for 7 days.
“They didn’t intend to hurt anyone, but they did,” Judge Frochione told Fox 8 on Tuesday, “I wanted the sentence to send a message. The prisons are full. So I wanted to do something especially being around July 4th, that may give these young men a message that they need to make better judgements.”
Hopefully, jail time, meaningful reading materials, and community service will help these two young men grasp the gravity of gun violence.
“Hey, maybe I will impact their lives in a positive way and they won’t be back in my courtroom,” the judge said.
Images Courtesy of http://bit.ly/2toTg5N and The Columbus Dispatch