Trio plead not guilty to gunpoint robbery

Dave O'Brien

Three college students accused in an on-campus robbery of two Kent State University students pleaded not guilty Monday in Portage County Common Pleas Court to charges of aggravated robbery.


Facing first-degree felony charges based on the gunpoint robbery are John R. Blackmon, Andrew R. Scott and Paris O. Millberry, all 20. Because the robbery charges are the result of a joint indictment by a Portage County grand jury, all three men were arraigned at the same time Monday in Judge John Enlow’s courtroom. ?

Enlow ruled all three men be held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $100,000 cash bond each, plus a personal recognizance bond. Should the men post bond, conditions include that they not leave the state without the court’s permission. ?

The Portage County Prosecutor’s Office requested a higher bond, $250,000 cash per defendant, because of the “very serious nature of the charges” and for “the safety of the community,” Assistant Prosecutor Sean Scahill said. ?

According to the indictment, which was handed down Thursday, the three men are accused of using a .40 caliber handgun in the commission of the robbery. KSU police previously said the two victims were confronted and robbed at gunpoint at about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Harbourt Hall parking lot, near the KSU Ice Arena. ?

Initially, police said two suspects fled the scene. The victims were not injured. A subsequent KSU police investigation identified three men as suspects.

?First-degree felonies carry a potential sentence of three to 10 years in prison. Firearms specifications to the charges, alleging the use of a handgun in the commission of the crime, could add a mandatory three years on top of that. ?

Scott is a sophomore technology major at KSU and Millberry is a freshman exploratory major, according to KSU’s online student directory. Attorney Michael Nelson, representing Millberry, said his client has no prior criminal history. ?

Scott will reside with his father, a juvenile probation officer in Summit County, if he posts bond defense, attorney Errol Can said.

?“He is not a danger to the community,” Can told Enlow.

?Blackmon’s attorney, Thomas Bauer Jr., told Enlow his client is a pre-med student at the University of Akron with no prior criminal record. He said Blackmon was making arrangements to turn himself in on a warrant but was arrested before he could do so. ?

Without elaborating, Bauer said he thinks his client “has a defense to the charge,” he said. ?It is likely that defense attorneys will move to sever the trials of the three suspects. Enlow set an initial trial date for May.

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