Campbell mayoral candidate turns self in on assault charges

Phillips Family, Campbell, Aug. 11, 2015
Nick Phillips with his wife and her daughter and WKBN's Gerry Ricciutti

CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – A candidate for Campbell mayor turned himself in to authorities Tuesday on charges of felonious assault.

Nick Phillips was wanted in connection to an August altercation at his Sycamore Drive home where the victim Matt Gabel, who is the former boyfriend of Phillips’ stepdaughter, claims Phillips punched him so hard it broke his jaw.

Phillips said Gabel was arguing with Phillips’ wife when he intervened and punched him.

With his wife sitting at his side, Phillips appeared in court Tuesday to face the charges.

“We felt there was sufficient evidence to charge with felonious assault, and that is how we’ve chosen to proceed at this point,” said Youngstown Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Moliterno.

Moliterno was assigned to the case after Campbell’s law director recused himself from the case.

Phillips attorney, Jay Macejko, said the case should have never made it into a courtroom.

“This is a case that should have never left the prosecutor’s desk. I think when you are presented with half or a portion of the story, you end up with a bad case like this,” Macjeko said.

Macejko said Gabel knocked Phillips’ wife to ground and that’s when Phillips stepped in to defend her.

Macejko also questions the timing of the charges, coming so close to the November election when Phillips, who is also a former city police officer, is challenging incumbent Mayor Bill Vansuch.

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” Macejko said.

Phillips is scheduled for another court appearance Oct. 6. Municipal Judge Pat Cunning is expected to request a visiting judge be named to hear the case. Macejko says he hopes the charges will be dismissed.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s