Man pleads guilty to gun-related charges

LISBON – For the second time in a week, a man has pleaded guilty in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to gun-related charges stemming from two shooting incidents involving Tyler Austin in East Liverpool.

Cedrick Johnson, 21, Steubenville, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and two counts of discharging a firearm into a habitation.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart, on Jan. 13, Johnson fired at least three or four warning shots from a .22-caliber handgun above the head of Austin in the Woodland Hills area. Instead of hitting Austin, the shots hit apartments 316 and 317, one of which had a baby’s crib near where the bullet was found lodged in a Rubbermaid container.

The shooting had reportedly occurred following a dispute, which began when Johnson’s current girlfriend, Erica Burke, and Johnson went to Austin’s father’s home on St. George Street to pick up the children she has with Austin. Then Austin had followed them to Woodland Hills.

The charges to which Johnson pleaded are second- and third-degree felonies. The maximum sentences for the second-degree felony discharging a firearm into a habitation charges are eight years each. The tampering charge, which states Johnson hid both the gun and the clothes he was wearing, carries a maximum three-year sentence.

Weikart said he will be requesting a five-year total sentence as part of the plea agreement. Sentencing is set for Aug. 14.

Earlier this week, Christian Radcliff, “Money”, 26, of Columbus, had pleaded guilty to felonious assault with a weapons specification for shooting Austin in the stomach in the East End last summer. His sentencing was set for Aug. 8.