CLEVELAND -- At the request of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor‟s Office, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Kristin W. Sweeney has ordered that a Cleveland youth gang leader be moved to an adult prison for the remainder of his sentence.
Sweeney ruled Friday that the violent behavior of Alexander Washington, 19, justified removing him from the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
Washington was committed to ODYS in 2011 after being found delinquent on three counts of aggravated robbery and one count of felonious assault. All these counts included gun specifications.
Evidence presented by the Prosecutor‟s Office proved that Washington has become a high-ranking leader of the Heartless Felons gang and has been linked to nearly 80 violent incidents, including more than 25 beatings, while in custody at ODYS.
When he was initially sentenced in 2011, Washington was declared a Serious Youth Offender and given a blended alternative sentence, with the adult portion of his sentence stayed.
But Judge Sweeney has now lifted that stay.
In her ruling invoking the adult portion of Washington‟s sentence, Judge Sweeney said the Prosecutor‟s Office had presented "clear and convincing evidence" that Washington‟s behavior had created "a substantial risk to the safety and security of the institution and is unlikely to be rehabilitated during the remaining period of juvenile jurisdiction."
Washington now will be transferred to an adult prison to be determined by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and remain there until he turns 21 in 2015.
"Our Juvenile Division recently created an 'SYO section‟ to track these offenders and to seek adult sentences for those individuals who reject rehabilitation and continue to engage in violent gang behavior," said Juvenile Division Chief Duane Deskins.
"This is another piece of our efforts to deter gang activity at ODYS, in the Detention Center and on the streets of our neighborhoods."
This was second time this year that the Prosecutor‟s Office successfully sought to have Serious Youth Offender sanctions imposed.
In February, just before Dennis Hutcherson turned 21, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Michael J. Ryan removed the stay on the adult portion of Hutcherson‟s sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
Although Hutcherson was still released from custody, he remains on post-release control and can be sent to an adult prison if he violates the terms of his parole. Hutcherson was also a leader of the Heartless Felons and was cited for 140 significant incidents, including more than 20 assaults on other residents, during his years at ODYS.