WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — A trial has been averted for a man accused in a police shootout in Liberty last year.
Kevin Mallard was in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder with firearm specifications; inducing panic with a firearm specification; improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle; carrying a concealed weapon; and attempted murder with a firearm specification in connection to the shootout with police.
Sentencing is set for March 14. Mallard is facing 97 to 102 years in prison.
Mallard was charged following a June 2022 incident that led to a shootout with Liberty police on a busy roadway. Investigators said this took place after Mallard shot an innocent man in his face who was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Liberty Street and Belmont Avenue, leaving him blind in both eyes.
Liberty police exchanged gunfire with Mallard, creating a standoff situation off of Belmont Avenue. Mallard was wounded in the gunfire.
The mother of the victim, Zachary Woods, was in court on Tuesday, saying it was hard to be in the same room as Mallard.
“I mean, my son was a total stranger to him. If he did that to my son — he’s 20, he has a whole life ahead of him — what do you think he would do to someone else? He didn’t know them. He didn’t do anything to him. So he’s definitely not good for the community,” said Natisha Lee.
Mallard went through two separate competency evaluations leading up to his trial date and was found competent both times.
Mallard’s trial had been set for Feb. 27 before he took the plea deal.