YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A 19-year-old who prosecutors said was part of a loosely-formed gang that called themselves “Baby Face Killers” was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for the shooting death of a 15-year-old.
Antonio Davis was sentenced by Judge Anthony Donofrio in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court after he entered an Alford Plea Oct. 18 to charges of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification for the March 22, 2018, shooting death of Damon Marinoff, 15, of Farrell, Pa.
Police said Marinoff and another person were lured to a vacant home in Sherwood Avenue on the south side because Marinoff wanted to sell two iPhones over the LetGo app. Instead, Marinoff was shot and killed.
An Alford Plea means a defendant maintains his innocence but admits that there’s enough evidence for a reasonable person to convict them.
Davis was a juvenile at the time a grand jury indicted him as an adult in May of 2019.
Assistant Prosecutor Martin Hume asked Judge Donofrio to impose the recommended sentence of 11 years, saying that Davis had been involved in similar robberies to the one that killed Marinoff.
“We believe that Mr. Davis is a danger to our community,” Hume said. “This is part of a pattern of crimes.”
Hume said there is evidence that Davis was involved in a gang and that he also pleaded guilty in juvenile court to the armed robbery of a pizza driver. He also said that Davis would not identify the other person who took part in the robbery that killed Marinoff.
“This lack of remorse and lack of responsibility is something that the court should consider,” Hume said.
Representatives of the victim’s families were notified of the sentencing hearing but did not attend.
Davis’ attorney, Tony Meranto, said the Alford Plea means his client still maintains he was not there and because of that he can’t identify another person who was involved.
Meranto also said Davis was facing a potential sentence of life in prison if he went to trial, so when prosecutors made their plea offer, they agreed to take it.
In a handwritten statement, Davis said he feels sorry for the victim’s families and knows how they feel because his 10-year-old sister, Persayus Davis-May, was murdered in August in a home on Samuel Avenue.
Davis also criticized the police investigation into the case and the photo lineup they used to identify him.
Davis said he allowed investigators to look at his Instagram account to clear him, but instead they used that against him.
“I made some bad decisions in the past but that doesn’t make me guilty of this crime,” Davis said.
Judge Donofrio said that even though he is very young, Davis has already been implicated in several incidents where firearms were involved. He said hopefully prison will make him reflect on his life.
“He has been spiraling as far as I am concerned, and the time he will spend incarcerated will give him an opportunity to think on his life,” Judge Donofrio said.