Assault, shooting pleas entered

STEUBENVILLE – Two men pleaded guilty Tuesday before Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson, one for a shooting and the other for assaulting a police officer.

Rockwell Good, 73, of 208 Buckeye Drive, Bloomingdale, pleaded guilty to felonious assault in connection with a Sept. 25 shooting outside a home on county Road 39B, Unionport.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department reported John Hartsouk, 36, was at a house he owns on county Road 39B when he had an altercation with two men – Randy Ewing, 52, and Good.

There were conflicting statements given as to what led up to the shooting.

Ewing and Good said Hartsouk came at them and assaulted Ewing and then went after Good, who fired the shots, said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

Hartsouk is claiming Ewing and Good came at him on his property, Abdalla said.

Hartsouk was shot in the arm and abdomen. He was able to drive himself to the Unionport fire department, where he was transported to the county airport to be taken by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Good told Henderson he fired the shots in self-defense.

Costa Mastros, who was appointed as special prosecutor in the case, dismissed a firearm specification against Good, which could have brought a mandatory three years in prison. Good still faces two to eight years in prison. Henderson ordered a presentence investigation, which could determine if Good is sent to prison, is sent to the Eastern Ohio Correction Center for six months or placed on probation.

Mastros said dismissing the firearm specification was part of a negotiated plea agreement with defense attorney Joseph Ludovici. Mastros said he knew there would be issues if the case went to trial, including Good claiming self-defense. He said it was more important to secure a conviction on the felonious assault charge.

Hartsouk was in court for the plea change and told Henderson he will make a victim-impact statement at sentencing.

Also, Victor W. Lytle Jr., 21, of 1054 Adams St. pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assault on a police officer and two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest.

A man came to the police station around 7:10 a.m. on June 16, saying he was driving on Washington Street when two men came running up beside his vehicle and one man punched out a vehicle window.

A short time later, officers were called about two men fighting at the apartment complex.

Officers had Richard W. Hendershot, 33, no fixed address and Lytle sit on the curb while they tried to sort out what happened.

Hendershot was bleeding from the hands and arm. Officers said both men were intoxicated and under the influence of some substance.

Lytle became irate and started screaming obscenities at officers, police reported. It took several officers to take Lytle to the ground and put him in handcuffs, officers reported.

Hendershot then became unruly and belligerent and had to be handcuffed, police reported. Hendershot was kicking officers as they tried to slide him into the cruiser, all the while making threats to kill the families of the officers, police reported. Hendershot was taken to Trinity Medical Center West for treatment of the wounds to his hands and arm. Police reported he had to be sedated at the hospital. He later was released and taken to the county jail.

Lytle was immediately transported to the jail and county sheriff’s deputies had to be called in to the jail from road patrol to assist in getting Lytle out of the cruiser and into a restraining chair used by corrections officers to control unruly inmates, police reported.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Lytle spit on and kicked a city officer.

Hendershot’s case was handled in municipal court, where he pleaded guilty to assault.

Henderson ordered a presentence investigation for Lytle, including an evaluation for the Eastern Ohio Correction Center.

Lytle, who faces up to 18 months in prison, said he got upset at being arrested and, at the county jail, kicked at and spit on a police officer.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)