Father Who Shot Daughter’s Attacker: ‘He’s Lucky He’s Not Dead’

James Marino

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A 68-year-old father arrested Thursday for shooting the man beating his daughter on Youngstown’s South Side was released Friday from jail without being charged.

James G. Marino, of 208 E. Auberndale Ave., was released from the Mahoning County Jail at about 11:30 a.m. Friday. He was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felonious assault for shooting his daughter’s boyfriend in the chest. No charges have been filed against him.

Youngstown city prosecutors declined to say if they will file charges. Legal experts said they believe Marino acted within laws that allow for someone to take protective actions on another person’s behalf.

Marino told police he warned the man to stop attacking his daughter and fired a shot from his revolver at Cyrus Hawthorne III, 30, because he was trying to protect her.

“He went nuts,” Marino said Friday after he was released from jail. “I came outside, he’s pulling my daughter’s hair. Then he went after my granddaughter. That was it right there. I came back outside, he jumps on her again. I shot him.”

Reports indicate Hawthorne will be charged with two counts of domestic violence when he is released from St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was taken after he was shot in chest.

Marino’s daughter told police Hawthorne returned at about 2 a.m. Thursday from a night of drinking. Four hours later, she said, Hawthorne began fighting with family members. He then went outside and punched the 39-year-old woman and pulled her hair.

The woman’s 16-year-old daughter, reports said, approached Hawthorne with a kitchen knife. Hawthorne then punched her in the head, knocking her to the ground and resumed beating the woman, reports said. Marino then shot Hawthorne after warning him to stop.

Legal experts on Friday said they believe Marino was abiding by a law that allows someone to take protective action if the victim is in imminent danger.

“I can’t see the prosecutor or the office of the prosecutor charging this guy with any crime because clearly he was defending somebody within his household,” said attorney Chris Maruca.

State jury instruction standards for self-defense include not being at fault in creating the situation, having a reasonable belief the incident will lead to death or great bodily harm and that the victim does not violate a duty to retreat to safety.

“If the victim himself or herself would have been justified in using ‘self-defense’ against their assailant, a third person or third party is justified in using self-defense against that person,” said former Youngstown city prosecutor Jay Macejko, who now works as a defense attorney.

Marino said he hopes Hawthorne will leave his family alone.

“No I have no regrets now that it’s over,” Marino said. “He’s just lucky he’s not dead.”

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