Yerkey pleads guilty to violating protection order

LISBON — Although he maintains innocence in regards to one instance, John D. Yerkey pleaded guilty to violating a protection order in Common Pleas Court on Monday.

Yerkey, 45, West Middletown Road, Salem, offered a guilty plea to one count of violating a protection order. To a second count Yerkey offered an Alford plea of guilty, which means he maintains his innocence but agrees the evidence could point a jury to a guilty verdict.

Yerkey’s attorney Gregg Rossi explained that while there is social media evidence showing Yerkey contacted the protected person, he maintains it was not actually him.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones said she would be recommending community control for the two fifth-degree felony charges, but if Judge Megan Bickerton chose to go with prison time, Jones would recommend an 18-month sentence. The maximum possible sentence is two years in prison.

Additionally, while the victim in the case, Jamie Dattilio did not appear at this hearing, she and her attorney have indicated there may be some restitution due the cost of counseling required, according to Jones.

Yerkey, who has previous convictions for violating a protection order in Mahoning County in 2016 and 2017, was charged here with violating Dattilio’s protection order on June 30, 2018 and between Aug. 1 and Aug. 12 later in the summer, which involved allegedly sharing his location with Dattilio utilizing social media. A third charge of violating a protection order will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Yerkey, a chiropractor from the Boardman area, was ordered to have a pre-sentencing investigation update done with the probation department.

Dattilio will be notified of her right to attend a sentencing hearing on May 20.