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Published: Tuesday, 5/1/2012

Crime spree results in 70-year sentence

Judge cites ‘reign of terror' of late '11

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Calling Deangelo Overton's actions over a period of several days a "reign of terror," Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda said Monday only a lengthy prison sentence could remedy the community's shattered peace.

The judge then sentenced Overton to a total of 70 years in prison for a series of crimes that spanned Oct. 28 through Nov. 4, 2011.

"You're an 18-year-old kid about to be sentenced to prison for a long time and I think you need to know why. … I think you operate in a system of two words: ‘I want.' And ‘What I want, I go get,'?" the judge said just prior to imposing sentence.

"This notion of ‘I want,' this is your framework of how you live in our society," Judge Zmuda added. "And that tells me you cannot live in our society."

Overton made no statement before the sentence was imposed. He had been found guilty of 10 counts for crimes that involved arming himself with a gun on three separate occasions and seeking out victims.

On March 19, Overton pleaded no contest to five counts of felonious assault, two counts of improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation, and one count each of attempted aggravated burglary, aggravated burglary, and aggravated robbery, each with an attached gun specification.

During Overton's plea hearing, Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Loisel reviewed a series of crimes that involved six victims.

On Oct. 28, at a home in the 2000 block of Glenwood Avenue, Overton was seen by the two female occupants, Tresane Burgess, 27, and Joy Pearson, 29, on a window ledge trying to break into the house. When discovered, he aimed a gun at the women and fired at least two shots, Mr. Loisel said.

The two women escaped injury, Mr. Loisel said.

Three days later, Overton and another individual broke into a home in the 2000 block of Robinwood Avenue. While they were there, the homeowner, Rose Toth Gallardo, returned home, Mr. Loisel said.

After stealing her personal possessions, including her wedding ring off her finger, Overton held Ms. Gallardo at gunpoint and walked her through the house while threatening to kill her so they could find more valuables. A surveillance video at an ATM later showed Overton trying to use the victim's debit card, Mr. Loisel said.

The final incident came four days later, on Nov. 4, when Overton was buying drugs from a man in the Byrneport Apartments parking lot. During the transaction, he tried to rob the man, who in turn fled into one of the apartments.

Overton fired at the man as he fled into the apartment building. Though the man was not hit, a bullet went through the front door of an apartment and struck both Sandra Felder, 34, and her then-4-year-old son, Jashon Veasley. Mr. Loisel said the bullet passed through Ms. Felder's leg and hit her son in the abdomen.

Both mother and son survived and have since been released from the hospital.

Ms. Gallardo tearfully spoke to the judge Monday asking that Overton have as long as possible to "consider his actions." She said that to continue healing, she needs to know Overton would not be able to "risk innocent lives anymore."

"As I think of Deangelo's sentencing and the terror he imposed on me the night of Oct. 31, I am reminded that this was very real, he confidently pointed a gun at my head, threatened me, robbed me, and stole items right off my body. I don't understand this loss of soul, the inability to see others as humans, and to invade others homes," she said emotionally. " … Days later, I was very disheartened learning of Deangelo Overton's week of crime. The thought of him shooting several other times that week confirms in my head and heart that he needs to take responsibility for his very deliberate and dangerous actions resulting in many violent crimes."

The victims in the two other cases were not in court Monday.

Before the sentencing, Mr. Loisel and attorney Dave Klucas presented arguments about whether the sentences of some of the counts would merge, reducing Overton's possible maximum prison sentence. Judge Zmuda agreed that two counts of felonious assault were allied offenses to two counts of shooting into a habitation and so sentenced only on the felonious assault counts.

The others, he concluded, could be sentenced individually and consecutive to each other.

Overton was sentenced to 10 years in prison for both aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery, seven years in prison on each of the five counts of felonious assault, and six years in prison for attempted aggravated burglary.

He was also sentenced to three years each for three added gun specifications — one for each incident.

Judge Zmuda noted that Overton's acts were so egregious that consecutive sentences were necessary to punish him and protect the public.

Mr. Klucas declined to comment after the sentencing hearing.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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