YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A dispute over a gun in October cost one man his life and another at least 18 1/2 years in prison.
Charles Sidberry, 20, pleaded guilty today before Judge Maureen Sweeney in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, misdemeanor assault and a firearm specification for the Oct. 3, 2020 shooting death of Isaak Villarreal, 19, in Boardman.
A charge of murder was dropped in exchange for his plea.
The attorneys in the case recommended a sentence of18 years and six months to 23 years and six months in prison. Judge Sweeney upheld the recommendation.
Assistant Prosecutor Rob Andrews said Villarreal was shot after he was picked up at his job at a Wendy’s by Sidberry and two other men because Sidberry was selling a gun to Villarreal.
However, Villarreal was upset over the price of the gun and the fact it only had a half a magazine of bullets, Andrews said.
The two struggled in the back seat and one of the men with Sidberry tried to take the gun away and was shot in the stomach, Andrews said, which is the assault charge. Villarreal tried to get out of the car and as he did, he was shot in the back and dumped in the parking lot of a South Avenue car wash.
Villarreal died on the way to the hospital, Andrews said.
The driver of the car wanted to take the other man to the hospital but Sidberry forced him at gunpoint to take him home instead. That is the kidnapping charge.
Andrews said while he thought he had a strong case he also realized defense attorneys also had a good case, which is why he agreed to a plea.
“The state was confident, however, it was a defensible case,” Andrews said.
Defense attorney Ed Hartwig said the death of Villarreal was a “tragedy” and that he did not deserve to die. However, he added he had a good case because of the fact there were two other people in the car with his client.
“It’s probably virtually impossible to determine who fired the fatal shot,” Hartwig said.
Villarreal’s mother, Melissa Villarreal, said she was not happy with the sentence. She said it is not a good deterrent.
“If they got harsher sentences maybe they would think twice before ending someone’s life,” she said.
Her son was kind and looked out for others before himself, she said. She said she knows he was not perfect but he did not deserve to die.
“He always put everybody before himself,” she said. “He forgave people who didn’t deserve it but that’s who he was, a person with a big heart.”
Sidberry declined to speak before he was sentenced.