Former Akron U student sentenced for KSU robberies

Dave O'Brien

A former University of Akron student has been sentenced to four years in prison for an armed robbery in February on campus, while both of his co-defendants, both Kent State students, await sentencing in their cases.

John R. Blackmon, 21, of Akron, recently was sentenced by Judge John Enlow after pleading guilty in May to one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, with a firearms specification. The specification added another consecutive, mandatory year in prison to Blackmon’s sentence.

Enlow accepted a joint sentencing recommendation from the Portage County Prosecutor’s Office and defense attorney Thomas M. Bauer Jr. that Blackmon, who has no criminal record, serve the minimum sentence of three years on the robbery charge plus one year for using a handgun during the Feb. 5 incident.

Assistant Prosecutor Steve Michniak said Blackmon cooperated with KSU police investigators, leading his office to agree to the minimum sentence.

Blackmon, Paris O. Millberry, 20, of Canton and Andrew R. Scott, 20, of Kent, got together on Feb. 5 and robbed two KSU students in the parking lot of Harbourt Hall near the campus Ice Arena. Neither of the victims were injured, and the suspects fled with a cell phone worth $150, a wallet and $10 in cash, according to KSU police.

At the time of the crime, Blackmon was a pre-med student at Akron U with a 3.5 grade point average, Bauer said. He also was a track athlete who coached youth in the sport. Millberry and Scott were KSU students at the time of the crime.

“I don’t believe this incident is truly representative of (Blackmon’s) character,” Bauer said.

Blackmon declined to make a statement prior to his sentencing.

The same day Blackmon was sentenced, Scott pleaded guilty in Enlow’s courtroom to one count of complicity to robbery, a third-degree felony.

Scott accepted the chance to plea to the lesser charge following plea negotiations between Michniak and defense attorney Errol Can, Michniak said. He said Scott could receive anything from probation to a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing, at Enlow’s discretion.

Millberry pleaded guilty June 27 to a third-degree felony robbery charge, also in Enlow’s court. Sentencing hearings in his case and Scott’s case are pending pre-sentence investigations.

Dave O’Brien is a staff writer for the Record Courier.