NEW PHILADELPHIA — A Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court judge has denied a motion filed by attorney Travis Collins seeking to have three felonious assault convictions and related firearm specifications against his client, Ian A. Cultrona, dismissed.
Cultrona, 36, of Dover, recently was convicted of the second-degree felonies following a trial in the Tuscarawas County court. He also was convicted of one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.
In making his decision, Judge Edward E. O’Farrell said, "the state of the evidence after the conclusion of the trial in this case considered by the jury prior to the issuance of their verdicts was sufficient, as a matter of law, to allow the jury to return the verdicts of guilty relating to the felonious assault counts and related firearms specifications."
As part of the motion, Collins also sought to have his client acquitted of three attempted murder charges for which a mistrial was declared by Judge O’Farrell on April 3.
O’Ferrell went on to say the evidence was sufficient to "allow those jurors who voted guilty relating to the attempted murder counts to have done so notwithstanding the face that the jury did not reach unanimous verdicts on the attempted murder and related firearm specification counts."
Cultrona was acquitted of one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony, and the firearm specification.
O’Ferrell’s rulings were made Friday following an oral hearing on April 22.
Collins did not request the court acquit Cultrona of the aggravated robbery conviction.
The shooting shooting and robbery occurred on Liberty Road in Oxford Township southeast of Newcomerstown cost a 17-year-old part of a finger.
Tuscarawas County sheriff’s deputies determined that two people had agreed to meet on Liberty Road for a drug deal that ended with shots being fired at the victim, who later went to the Newcomerstown Police Department.
Prior to his trial, Cultrona fled the state and was later apprehended in Pennsylvania. He also turned down a plea deal that included a recommended 12-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to a charge of aggravated robbery and a related gun specification.
In his motion, Collins said the prosecutor did not prove that Cultrona knew that two other men charged in connection with the same incident had guns.
Arguing against post-conviction acquittal, Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer said Cultrona knew that a gun would be used in the robbery, and was thus responsible for the natural and probable consequences of its use.
Cultrona is facing a potential prison sentence of 38 years.