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Published: 12/7/2012

6 indicted in rioting after rape sentencing

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Six people recently arrested for causing a disturbance outside the Lucas County courthouse after a sentencing in a rape case have been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of aggravated rioting.

Charged with the fourth-degree felony were: Anthony Mitchell, 39, of 828 Magnolia St.; Markella Lawrence, 30, of 420 Elizabeth St.; Angel Bowman, 35, and Sonia Nieto, 32, both of 230 ½ Webster St.; Myesha Newton, 19, of 6365 Glenridge Rd.; and Antoine Pernell, 36, of 812 Walbridge St. The charge is punishable by up to 1 ½ years in prison.

The six were arrested by officers responding to a small-scale riot that occurred outside the courthouse on Nov. 28. The incident was precipitated by a sentencing in which Anthony Mitchell, Jr., 16, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for a rape conviction.

The grand jury also indicted the elder Mitchell with two counts of retaliation. According to police, he threatened to kill the 23-year-old rape victim as well as threatening to blow up the courthouse.

It was unclear what the relationship is between the older and younger Mitchell.

Also facing additional charges were Lawrence – who is also accused of threatening to kill the victim in the rape case – and Ms. Nieto, who is charged with assaulting Toledo police Detective Shelli Kilburn by jumping on the detective and striking her more than once.

“People who act out in court and threaten victims, police officers, and witnesses will be vigorously prosecuted by this office,” said Jeff Lingo, chief of the criminal division of the prosecutor’s office.

If convicted on all charges, the elder Mitchell faces up to 7 1/2 years in prison, Lawrence faces up to 4 1/2 years in prison, and Ms. Nieto faces up to three years in prison.

Pernell has since posted a $25,000 bond. The remaining five defendants are in custody in the Lucas County jail.

The incident began after the younger Mitchell was sentenced in Judge Linda Jennings’ courtroom. Several of Mitchell’s family members became upset after the sentence was announced and “began to cause a disturbance,” police wrote in an incident report.

Court security escorted the group from the third floor of the courthouse to the grounds outside, where the suspects became more agitated.

Mitchell, of 5364 Glenridge Dr. was sentenced to time in prison after previously entering a plea to aggravated robbery with a gun specification and to rape. He and co-defendant Kenneth Moore, 19, of 801 Magnolia were convicted of raping a woman at gunpoint after going to her apartment and asking that she buy candles for a fund-raiser.

Moore was sentenced Nov. 7 to 23 years in prison.

The victim, who was in the courtroom during the sentencing, was escorted out and was not a part of the melee.

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



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