July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Former most-wanted fugitive heading to prison

MEDINA — A Medina man convicted of pistol-whipping and stabbing his way onto the U.S. Marshal Service’s most wanted list will spend 12 years in prison.

Dayshawn C. Wheeler, 23, of 525 Birch Hill Drive, Apt. B7, was sentenced by Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler on Thursday morning.

Dayshawn Wheeler

Wheeler pleaded guilty last month to two counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies, three counts of second-degree felonious assault and two counts of evidence tampering, third-degree felonies.

A count of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, was dropped in exchange for Wheeler’s plea.

Wheeler also was sentenced on several gun specifications, which added prison time.

He was accused of breaking into a Hemlock Court apartment in Brunswick in May 2012, where he fractured a 19-year-old man’s skull with a semiautomatic handgun and stabbed him in the back with the claw-end of a hammer.

Wheeler also was accused of disposing of the weapons by throwing them out of his vehicle’s window.

He eluded police custody for months and in August was placed on the U.S. Marshal Service’s most wanted list. He turned himself in on Sept. 3 and pleaded not guilty Sept. 13.

Police offered no motive for the attack.

County Assistant Prosecutor Michael McNamara said the victim has been burdened with thousands of dollars in hospital bills and has slurred speech and a stutter as a result of his injuries.

McNamara recommended 14 years in prison.

Wheeler told the judge he knew what he did was wrong.

“I want to apologize for what I did,” he said.

Wheeler’s attorney, Mallory Holmes, asked the judge to consider her client’s child in his sentencing.

“More than anything, he wants to take some time in prison to learn the tools to become a better parent,” she said, urging the judge to give her client the minimum sentence allowed by law.

“He’s young, your honor,” Holmes said. “He has time to turn himself around.”

This wasn’t Wheeler’s first run-in with the law.

In 2011, he spent six months in jail after pleading guilty to robbery, theft and domestic violence. Two years earlier, he spent a month in jail after pleading guilty to crack cocaine possession and resisting arrest. [br]

Also in court Thursday

Adam Syed

• A 30-year-old Fairlawn man pleaded not guilty to 20 felony counts accusing him of running illegal gambling houses.

Adam Syed’s businesses — Cyber City, 2696 Medina Road, Sharon Township, and Cyber 777’s, 1733 Pearl Road, Brunswick — were raided earlier this month by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Both businesses had signs describing themselves as Internet sweepstakes cafes.

“We’re not alleging these are Internet cafes,” county Assistant Prosecutor Matt Razavi said. “These are gambling houses.”

The attorney general’s office and police confiscated dozens of “cash-operated slot machines” from the businesses, they said.

Syed’s 20 charges include 12 counts of operating an illegal casino and eight counts of possessing criminal tools. They’re all fifth-degree felonies punishable by up to a year in prison each.

Kerry O’Brien, Syed’s attorney, asked the judge to reduce his client’s bond because $250,000 was unreasonable.

The judge agreed and reduced the bond to $50,000.

Syed is free on bond. [br]

Hector Zepeda

• A 46-year-old Hilliard man will spend three months in the county jail for drunken driving.

Hector Zepeda pleaded no contest last month to two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, fourth-degree felonies because he has had five OVI convictions in 20 years.

The judge sentenced Zepeda to eight months in jail with credit toward the five months he’s already served.
In addition, his vehicle was forfeited.

Zepeda apologized for his actions and said he wanted to move back to Texas to be with family. [br]

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

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.