LISBON - A Salineville man accused of stealing evidence from the Salineville Police Department and sharing it with others in the community was sentenced to 75 days in jail in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Friday.
Sheridan S. Taylor, 22, Madison Avenue, was in the police station on Feb. 20 in connection with a domestic violence charge. While he was there, a digital CD disappeared from a case file, which was on a desk near where he was. His actions led to a tampering with evidence charge.
According to Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart, Taylor's actions not only hindered the investigation on the CD, but compromised the names of witnesses and the statements provided by them. Weikart said the police department did not know Taylor removed the CD until people who were part of the investigation came to them wanting to know why those they were talking about in the statement knew all about the statements they had given.
"Witnesses and informants need to be protected," Weikart said. "This sort of thing cannot be tolerated. Some type of message needs to be sent."
Weikart asked Judge Scott Washam to consider a nine-month prison sentence, while Taylor's attorney, Richard Hura, asked for probation with a possible term at the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center.
"He has had a troubled youth, and he is a young man," Hura stated. "I believe he deserves a chance at the EOCC. He was very inebriated and made a very foolish, stupid mistake. This is the only adult crime other than failing to register his dog. Give him the tools he needs so he can become a productive adult."
Taylor apologized, noting he knows he "messed up" and should have known better.
Washam noted Taylor not only made one mistake, but he compounded it twice by not returning the CD and deciding to share the contents with others. He sentenced Taylor to 75 days in the county jail with credit for 11 days already served.