November 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
43°F

Firecracker maker gets probation for ‘bowl of explosives’

MEDINA — A Brunswick man convicted of making homemade firecrackers in his garage will spend two years on probation, a judge ordered Monday.

Peter J. Ferrante, 33, of 1490 W. 130th St., pleaded guilty in May to two felony charges stemming from having a “cereal bowl full” of explosives — black gunpowder, sulfur and potassium chlorate — in his garage. The explosives never ignited and no one was injured.

Peter Ferrante

“This court pointed out (in May) a lot of scenarios that could have happened,” said Ferrante’s attorney, Ronald Spears. “I don’t think my client thought about any of that.

“Fortunately, no one got hurt.”

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier asked Ferrante if there was anything he’d like to say.

“I learned a lot from my mistake,” he said. “I know now just to take my kids to see fireworks and not to make them myself.”

In addition to probation, Collier ordered Ferrante to be under house arrest for three months and not to have alcohol or explosives during his probation.

Any violation of probation would result in three years in prison, Collier said.

Ferrante’s convictions — attempted illegal manufacture of explosives, a third-degree felony, and unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, a fifth-degree felony — carried penalties of up to four years in prison.

Also appearing in court Monday:

Jill Tucker

• Jill Tucker, 58, of Creston, pleaded not guilty to burning down her own home in October.

Tucker is charged with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison.

Collier scheduled her jury trial for July 31 and reduced her bond from $250,000 to $50,000 after her attorney, Thomas Morris, said she’s known for seven months about the investigation into her.

“She hasn’t left yet,” Morris said. “She’s not going anywhere.”

Tucker is accused of lighting her Wadsworth home at 168 S. Pardee St. on fire. The blaze took five hours and four fire departments to extinguish.

Michael Basford

• Michael Basford, 26, of 1166 Lafayette Road, Medina, pleaded not guilty to breaking into a Lodi apartment and attacking the resident in March.

Basford had eluded police since April, when he was indicted, and was arrested Sunday.

He’s charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison. Basford has several felony convictions, including drug possession and trafficking, and misdemeanor convictions, including drug abuse and driving under suspension.

His trial was scheduled for July 31.

Mateo Ralios

• Mateo Ralios, 20, who’s accused of causing Medina County’s first fatal car crash of the year, will enter a plea July 1 because he said he couldn’t read or write English.

The judge postponed Ralios’ arraignment hearing for a week so the court could get a Spanish translator.

According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, Ralios lost control of a stolen Ford Fusion on state route 18, west of state Route 94 in Granger Township, and crashed into a 1996 Chrysler LHS driven by Eric Kaskevic, 34, of Strongsville, at about 5:30 a.m. June 13.

Kaskevic was injured in the crash and his passenger, Chad Nelson, 29, of Columbus, was pronounced dead at Akron General Hospital, according to the patrol’s Medina post.

Ralios is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, first- and second-degree felonies; aggravated vehicular assault, third- and fourth-degree felonies; and receiving a stolen motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony.

He appeared in court with an injured right arm.

Stephen Bugg

• An Elyria man convicted of helping to steal almost $62,000 in guitars, music equipment and clothing from a Liverpool Township warehouse between April and November of last year had his sentencing postponed two months.

Stephen C. Bugg, 44, was convicted of theft, a fourth-degree felony, after he pleaded no contest last month.

County Sheriff’s Lt. Travis Colonius has said the case is still under investigation and more arrests are expected.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.