Man sentenced in mass shooting

Devin Spann

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In a stunning show of forgiveness, family members who were shot during a rampage inside a Campbell home last July pleaded with a judge to impose a light sentence on the man convicted in the shootings.

Devin Spann, 24, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of felonious assault and weapons charges in the shooting of Avis Roland, 62, Mary Lynette Spann, 43, Gerald Robinson, 29, and Carmen Figueroa, 24. He received 12 years on the felonious assault charges and an additional three years on the weapons charge.

All four were shot when Spann opened fire inside the 7th Street home last July after threatening to kill everyone inside, according to police reports.

Roland, Mary Lynette Spann, and Figueroa were all shot in the upper torso. Robinson was shot in the left forearm. All victims are relatives of Spann, including Roland who is Spann’s grandmother.

“I would like to say that I am sorry to my grandma and the rest of my family members. I know that I have to be held responsible and I will. I would just like to ask that you have mercy on me, your honor,” Spann told the judge.

Roland also pleaded with Mahoning County Court Judge Scott Krichbaum for leniency. She told the judge that the man who opened fire inside the house that summer day was not her grandson. She said Spann was a “good boy” and that he laid a teddy bear by her side when she was in a coma several years ago.

“In my heart, I know God forgives him and I forgive him too,” said Roland. “And I’m asking you, the judge, to give leniency to my grandson.”

The prosecutor in the case weaved a different tale. He told the judge that Spann’s actions that day “showed a callous disregard for human life,” adding that Spann had gone to the home wanting money to buy an AK-47 rifle.

In the end, Krichbaum said that while the family may forgive Spann and “that may be the moral and religious thing to do, it is not the proper thing to do legally.” Krichbaum accepted Spann’s plea of guilty by reason of insanity in August.

“The victims present to the court that they want mercy for the defendant, just completely inexplicable. How in the world does that happen?,” Krichbaum said.

Defense Attorney Edward Hartwig said they did not agree with the sentence and had hoped for 11 years. Spann could have been sentenced to the maximum of 35 years.

Devin Spann shot himself in the chest after setting fire to a mattress inside the house. He also locked three girls, ages 8, 6 and 6, in a room with two people who were shot. Police said they believe Spann intended to leave them in the room and have the fire kill them.

After the ruling, family members said they were not pleased with how the proceedings went and are devastated they are losing a family member.

“It makes it even worse when we need justice for everyone to be OK and you do not get it. It makes it even harder. We are still lost, we are still losing someone,” said Devin’s mother, Shayatta Spann.

blog comments powered by Disqus