YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police reports said Damon Cobb appeared to be taunting officers during a May 27 chase on the East Side just before he collided with a car. The force of the crash threw the pregnant driver from the car and killed the baby she was carrying.
Cobb was subdued Tuesday as he entered guilty pleas in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges relating to the baby’s death and the crash.
Cobb, 26, of Miami Avenue, pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular assault, aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.
Cobb will be sentenced by Judge Maureen Sweeney once a presentence investigation is completed. Judge John Durkin took the guilty plea because Judge Sweeney was not available.
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of eight to 12 years in prison. Defense attorney Corey Grimm said he will argue for a lesser sentence, saying what prosecutors are asking for is “disproportionate.”
Cobb was very quiet when he answered questions by Judge Durkin to make sure what rights he was giving up by pleading guilty. At times, he was hard to hear.
The chase began when an officer was stopped in traffic going north on Albert Street at the red light when a car that police said was driven by Cobb went in the opposite lane and passed up the cars that were waiting for the light.
Police tried to pull the car over but Cobb failed to stop, reports said, until he ran the red light at the intersection with the Himrod Avenue Expressway and collided with another car. The driver of that car was thrown from it, reports said.
The baby she was carrying later died.
An officer wrote that during the chase Cobb passed other officers and appeared to be taunting them.
Officer Joe Wess said he looked at the car and Cobb “looked at me and smiled. It was as if he was taunting me,” Wess wrote in a report.
Cobb has been free on $20,000 bond since his arraignment in common pleas court on July 2. The driver of the car was present in court, using a cane to help her walk.