Judge cites his­tory of vi­o­lence in as­sault case

Coatesville man sen­tenced to 91/2 to 20 years in state jail

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@dai­ly­lo­cal.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

“It is clear he has anger man­age­ment is­sues. I have to con­sider the pro­tec­tion of the pub­lic.” — Com­mon Pleas Judge An­thony Sar­cione, on Rickey R. Washington

Rickey R. Washington has dis­played a vi­o­lent tem­per in his 22 years on the planet, in­clud­ing as­saults on the women in his life and even on the guards tasked with keep­ing him in line while in prison. But never had those crimes led to any­thing more se­vere than sev­eral months in Ch­ester County Prison. Un­til now. On Mon­day, Com­mon Pleas Judge An­thony Sar­cione sen­tenced Washington to 91/2 to 20 years in jail, a sen­tence which he must serve in a state pen­i­ten­tiary. Washington, of Coatesville, had been con­victed at trial of beat­ing up two women he new as cousins af­ter break­ing into the city home where they were stay­ing with chil­dren, and then later lead­ing city police on a high speed car chase through the down­town area.

“I could have gone much higher,” said Sar­cione, whose sen­tence matched that which the prose­cu­tor in the case had asked for. Sar­cione, in fash­ion­ing his sen­tence for Washington, noted that the de­fen­dant’s vi­o­lence had be­gun even be­fore he turned 18, earn­ing him an ex­pul­sion from Coatesville Area Se­nior High.

“It is clear he has anger man­age­ment is­sues,” the judge said. “I have to con­sider the pro­tec­tion of the pub­lic.”

Both the prose­cu­tor in the case, As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Cyn­thia Mor­gan, and Washington’s at­tor­ney, As­sis­tant Pub­lic De­fender Ellen Koop­man, agreed that Washington’s his­tory of vi­o­lence ex­tended to his up­bring­ing, in which his grand­mother and mother had both been killed in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents, as had the mother of one of his chil­dren. But they dis­agreed as to what les­son the court should take from those ex­pe­ri­ences.

In Mor­gan’s case, Washington’s be­hav­ior showed that he had not learned from the vi­o­lence around him.

“He is an incredibly vi­o­lent per­son and he poses a risk to everyone around him,” she told the judge in ar­gu­ing for the lengthy sen­tence. “He has been as­sault­ing peo­ple since he was a child. He is too dan­ger­ous even to ex­ist in our county prison sys­tem, and sim­ply can­not ex­ist in our so­ci­ety do­ing what he has been do­ing.”

Mor­gan cited pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions Washington had ac­cu­mu­lated for as­sault­ing one of the moth­ers of his four chil­dren, on sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions, and for beat­ing a cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer in county prison while he was awaiting trial for one of the as­saults. He also has a string of drug of­fense con­vic­tions dat­ing back to the early 2000s.

Koop­man, look­ing at his fam­ily’s vi­o­lent his­tory, said that his anger com­bined with an ad­dic­tion to drugs made him even more volatile. “The anger and the drug abuse can go a long way to ex­plain­ing Mr. Washington’s be­hav­ior,” she said. “He did not have the ex­am­ple of what oth­ers see as civ­i­lized so­ci­ety. He lived the way he was shown how to live.”

Washington was found guilty of bur­glary, ag­gra­vated as­sault, sim­ple as­sault, ter­ror­is­tic threats, and reck­lessly en­dan­ger­ing an­other per­son af­ter a jury trial be­fore Sar­cione in Septem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to Mor­gan’s ver­sion of events and court records, Washington as­saulted the two women — Cheke­sha Pape and Re­nee Byrd — be­cause he sus­pected them of steal­ing from him. They were iden­ti­fied as his cousins, but were also con­nected to him through a god­mother that cared for him when he was younger.

On Jan. 19, Washington went to Pape’s house on South Brandy­wine Av­enue in the city and broke down the door, look­ing for her and Byrd. He went to a sec­ond-floor bed­room, where he found the woman, and be­gan punch­ing Pape with his fists. He choked her, and then beat her with a metal broom han­dle, which broke dur­ing the as­sault. He then pushed Byrd down the stairs.

Both women were in­jured in the as­sault, dur­ing which Washington al­legedly told them he would be “back to kill you.” Mor­gan said the at­tack had left them so trau­ma­tized that nei­ther wanted to tes­tify against him for fear of a reprisal. Nei­ther ap­peared in court Mon­day for the sen­tenc­ing.

War­rants were is­sued for Washington’s ar­rest af­ter the as­sault. On the morn­ing of Feb. 18, a city of­fi­cer spot­ted Washington driv­ing a Chevrolet Mal­ibu on West Lincoln High­way and at­tempted to pull the car over. Washington sped off, lead­ing the of­fi­cer through the city streets dur­ing morn­ing rush hour, run­ning stop signs and speed­ing. He even­tu­ally aban­doned the car in the 500 block of Madi­son Street and ran into a house.

Mor­gan said she be­lieved that Washington had been car­ry­ing a loaded weapon at the time, which he ditched in the house. Three live rounds of am­mu­ni­tion were found in the car’s trunk.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.