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West Side Police News & Notes

3/13/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Suspect arrested following STEM school incident

Samson Peterson
Photo courtesy of the Akron Police Department
DOWNTOWN AKRON — A Barberton man remained in custody at the Summit County Jail this week after a March 5 incident in which he allegedly sexually assaulted a female student at an Akron school.

Akron Police Department officials said officers apprehended Samson Peterson, 21, at the National Inventors Hall of Fame School® … Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) after he allegedly entered the school on Broadway Street around 1:30 p.m. as someone was exiting the building. Once inside, police said Peterson lured a 12-year-old student into an empty classroom, where he fondled her.

After the student screamed and fled the classroom, staff responded and notified police, who said the suspect also took a laptop and two cameras from the school.

Peterson was charged with breaking and entering, criminal trespassing and gross sexual imposition and was being held on $100,000 bond, according to the Summit County Jail.

Akron Public Schools (APS) officials said the school was in lockdown for about 30 minutes as a precaution following the incident. The district notified STEM parents about the incident via phone call messages that afternoon and followed up with a letter March 6.

“As district policy, lockdowns are initiated to protect students inside locked classrooms from intruders and to allow police and security personnel to more quickly identify the suspect or suspects and take necessary action,” district officials said in a statement. “Our constant training, alongside law enforcement, continues to ensure your student is in a safe learning environment while in our care.”

APS Spokesman Mark Williamson said March 10 that a security audit of the STEM middle school building has been conducted. The district plans to do the same in its other buildings, he added.

In addition, district officials said the district has “increased security personnel for the foreseeable future” in the school. Williamson said district officials planned to meet with STEM parents with concerns at the school’s PTA meeting March 12.


Juvenile to be tried as adult for New Franklin murders

AKRON — Jamall Vaughn, the juvenile who was charged as the alleged accomplice of a man accused of the murders of Fairlawn attorney Jeffrey Schobert and his wife, Margaret (Peg) Schobert, of New Franklin, will be tried in adult court.

According to investigating police, Vaughn, of Akron, who was 14 at the time of the incident, was with then 18-year-old Shawn Ford when he allegedly bludgeoned the Schoberts to death in their New Franklin home April 2. Vaughn has been charged with aggravated murder, as well as aggravated robbery, and has been held in the Juvenile Detention Center since his arrest last April.

According to the judgment entry on the case, Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio made the decision to move Vaughn’s case to adult court March 10. The document indicates the state had asked the court to relinquish jurisdiction and move the case to adult court.

In making the ruling, Teodosio stated she considered the fact Vaughn was not the principal offender and under the negative influence of another, that he is emotionally, physically and psychologically immature and he has an IQ of 70.

The judge also noted there is six years remaining to rehabilitate Vaughn in the juvenile justice system, and “given the heinous nature of the offenses, the court cannot find this is sufficient time to rehabilitate Jamall to a level where community safety can be assured.”

The judge also noted Vaughn “has had prior contact with the juvenile justice system” and he and Ford talked about the murders as they walked 8 miles to the Schoberts’ home.

Vaughn’s bond was set at $1 million, the case will be moved to Summit County Common Pleas Court, and he will remain in the Juvenile Detention Center while he awaits trial, according to the judgment.

Ford, who was the Schoberts’ younger daughter Chelsea Schobert’s boyfriend for a time before the murders, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and faces the death penalty if convicted. He is also charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of grand theft. He is being held in the Summit County Jail.


Expungement clinic this weekend

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A free Expungement/CQE Clinic will take place March 15 at 1 p.m. at the Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

The University of Akron School of Law will participate and assist the first 50 qualified applicants with Expungement/Record Sealing and the Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE). Summit County Department of Job and Family Services also will accept applications for financial assistance with the $100 CQE filing fee.

CQEs, created through state Senate Bill 337 in 2012, may remove certain barriers to employment for people who have committed felonies or misdemeanors and are finding it hard to get a government-issued occupational license or a job with an employer. A CQE does not guarantee a license or a job, but it may help make the process easier, according to county officials.

To qualify to file a petition for a CQE in Summit County, an applicant must:

  • currently live in Summit County; and
  • have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor in the state of Ohio and it’s been at least two years since completion of all of the terms of a sentence (including any probation, community supervision) and all court costs have been paid; and
  • need a CQE to relieve a collateral sanction (penalty or disadvantage) that will help the applicant get a job or an occupational license.

County officials said a CQE can’t excuse:

√ a requirement to register as a sex offender;

√ a driver’s license suspension, cancellation or revocation;

√ a restriction on employment as a prosecutor or law enforcement officer; or

√ a denial, ineligibility or suspension of a license as a health care professional if you: were convicted of or pled guilty to murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary or unlawful distribution of an abortion-inducing drug; are addicted to or were found to be improperly distributing controlled substances; or are in default under a child support order.

Individuals planning to attend should go to www.uakron.edu/law/clinical/cqe-clinic.dot to find out what they need to bring to the clinic or for additional information.


Kathleen Folkerth and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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