November 21, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain police union criticizes teens’ sentence in robbery

LORAIN — The Lorain police union blasted Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers on Wednesday just hours after the judge sentenced two teenaged robbers to probation.

“I hope the citizens see what kind of judge he is because he clearly is not working for the citizens,” Lorain police Detective Buddy Sivert, who serves as vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Lorain, said.

Sivert said the two men, 18-year-old Justin Miller and 19-year-old Gary Epps Jr., should have been given lengthy prison terms for what he described as a violent robbery of the 7-11 on Leavitt Road early May 29.

A video of the incident shows Miller, Epps and a third man, 19-year-old Alexander Lee, wearing masks rush into the store and attack the clerk, Caleb Borden, who was behind the counter.

Borden told police that one of the men, identified by police as Lee, ran up and began punching him. Borden said he was initially stunned but quickly began fighting as the attack continued with Lee trying to force him into a back room.

The fight eventually moved from behind the counter, and Epps tried to intervene, throwing things, including a display rack at Borden.

Borden told police that as he and Lee continued to fight, the other two men fled. Lee also attempted to get away, he said, but Borden pursued him out the door and continued to fight with him in the parking lot, eventually subduing him.

The report said that a motorist, who had stopped at the store to get gas, called police who arrived and took Lee into custody. The report said the fight lasted for roughly seven minutes.

Lee, who earned a measure of notoriety last year for his penchant for stealing Reese’s Cups, denied that he was involved when questioned by police. Both Epps and Miller confessed to planning and being involved in the robbery, according to police.

“It’s sickening to see a violent act like that take place and these guys get less than a guy who gets a DUI or a misdemeanor,” Sivert said.

Lee, who like Miller and Epps, pleaded guilty to robbery, is awaiting sentencing in the case.

The police union said earlier this year that they intended to call out judges who they perceive as being too lenient on criminals. Sivert said while police understand that every crime involves different circumstances, those that involve a violent premeditated robbery need to carry prison time or it will embolden criminals who will think they can get away with light sentences for serious crimes.

Ewers, who warned Miller and Epps that they would go to prison for four years if they got in trouble while on probation, declined to comment on Sivert’s criticism.

But Miller’s lawyer, Mike Camera, said police have no business weighing in on the sentences judges hand down.

“I don’t think the police should be running the courts,” he said. “I’m going to check and see if the people of Lorain County elected the police judge.”

Camera said the role of the police is to investigate and arrest suspects while prosecutors are supposed to try cases. It’s the job of the judge to handle sentencing, he said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • MZee

    nice of lawyer Mike Camera to eject all of us on how the justice system works. Thing is, the judge didn’t sentence them, he freed them. All they learned over their violent behavior and disregard for the law and someones health is that it pays.

  • RAllen

    I certainly would want a judge to be more on the side of the police and the citizens than on the side of the criminals. These guys should have been locked up not running the streets committing more crimes until they get caught again. Seriously, do you really think saying don’t do it again or else is gonna teach these guys.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Probation?

    The police should complain.
    The prosecutor should complain.
    The citizens should complain.
    The media should complain.

  • zdubb78

    It does not matter who was elected or not………………….
    ANYONE CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT CRAP AT ANY TIME.
    The police have every right to complain…they are the ones who put their lives in danger to round up these thugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The other judge who is a big wuss when it comes to sentencing is lil tommy elwell
    JUDGE MIHOK stands up to the thugs and put them where they belong for how long they belong there

  • TommyK

    It is a known fact that the judges in Lorain County has a penchant for light sentences.

    • stop ur whining

      two words to dispute that. Locke-Graves. that woman is hard core.

      • TommyK

        She might be, but I know of people getting probation in Lorain county and very light sentences for some serious crimes. Repeat offenders at that!

        • stop ur whining

          that i wont doubt. scum runs the cities of lorain and elyria. part of the reason they have gone so far down hill, but that woman is a criminals worst nightmare. she brings the pain hahaha.

  • rocky

    Residents of the city of Lorain support your local Police Dept,,post your comment.

  • Jimnmys Schubert

    I hope these idiots break in to the assinine lawyer’s house while they’re on probation. Maybe that will teach him why the police don’t want criminals out of jail. DUH!

  • Don Grantzki

    Does anybody really think these “teens” have learned their lesson? They’ll be back in the news.

  • Melonie Reazor Houske

    This makes me sick. I’m going to remember your name Judge Ewers. I bet you’ve never had to go to work to make minimum wage and get beat up for your trouble. That kind of thing changes who you are. You taught those teens they are free to do it again. The penalty is a slap on the hand.

  • Razorback Twou

    Ex-con Mike Camera knows of what he speaks. How long was he sentenced to? Three years in the state prison I think it was.

    • ken

      who’s paying off these judges?

    • Stacey Lynn

      I cant believe they would let these people back on the street. Lorain is becoming a very scary town to live in. And just to give them a slap on the wrist with a warning??? People these days arent afraid of consequences because there are none. And what was the point of the police arresting them and booking them, for all that they could have given them a ticket and sent them on their way… Pretty much what that judge did. Check out the link I found on the Defense Lawyer
      http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/44052-oh-michael-camera-578924.html

  • jz

    The acts of these 3 were exactly why prison cells are built. That sentence really throws me for a loop.

  • Jesusfan

    You all have to admit or judicial system is all messed up. Innocent people getting put away while others are getting a slap on the wrist. I believe that these two should not have to serve time but be given a lesson on how to work for their money and not have to rob anyone or anything. I believe that they should have to work at a place for two years or what would be the prison sentence for their crime For free Side by side with the owner. Why should they have to sit in prison and why should our tax money go for them to be in prison. They committed the crime, let then work off their time

  • Zen Grouch

    I wonder what the going rate for a bribe to pull off a miscarriage of justice of this magnitude is these days?

    And people wonder why investors aren’t flocking to Lorain to make it what it once was… a city worth living in.

  • BEAMMEUP1

    Sad.. reminds me of a movie.. was Standing Tall, a Sheriff moved a crappy judge’s desk and office to the basement bathroom of the court house. This judge deserves as much.. not unlike our leaders in Washington, remove them all, as well as there retirements and any bennies.. Its leaders like this that created the conditions we now have and they want to be paid for this kind of production. How do they sleep at night? We should be kicking their butts to the curb and let them go out and find a real job they can handle!
    I for one will remember this mans name at election time, that’s for sure and I am positive I am not alone..

  • Rear_View

    And do you all realize this FOOLHEARTED JUDGE gets to sit on his AZZ till 2017 collecting TAX PAYER MONEY!!! If anyone can start a PETITION to RECALL this guy I’ll sign it!!! But truth be told, he will more than likely get reelected seeing that he puts the almighty ‘D’ after his name on the ballot… it seems that’s the only letter Lorain County Residents can read when entering the voting booth… now who’s the STUPID one?!?!?!

  • Brandy Lynn

    He has given all felony burglaries probation. It’s a joke. Probation is a joke. They all just go out and do it again. And then worse. People that get wrongfully charged that have NO backgrounds are the ones that get effed by the system, not the wannabe scum thugs of Lorain.