Man found not guilty of ring theft

LISBON – A Columbiana County Common Pleas Court jury found Seth S. Robinson, 28, state Route 45, Lisbon, not guilty of taking a diamond ring belonging to his mother-in-law.

Robinson had nearly pleaded guilty to a negotiated misdemeanor charge of theft in late February. But in the middle of that plea hearing before Judge C. Ashley Pike, he had changed his mind and went forward with a jury trial on a fifth-degree felony theft charge. Since then he elected to get another attorney, James R. Wise of Boardman, instead of the court-appointed one representing him at that time.

Following a jury trial, which began on Tuesday and ended Wednesday, the theft charge against Robinson will now be dismissed.

Robinson was charged with theft for allegedly taking a diamond ring belonging to Deborah Erdel, his mother-in-law, in February 2013 and then pawning it at a Cashland in Mahoning County.

During the previous hearing Robinson told Pike the matter of the ring was a family matter.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones told Pike earlier that Robinson has contended the ring actually belonged to him. Erdel had paid to have the ring removed from pawn once before this theft occurred.

If he had been found guilty, Robinson was facing up to a year in prison. Robinson is no stranger to a jail cell. He was sentenced to four years in a 2005 case when he pleaded guilty to a reckless homicide charge amended from involuntary manslaughter. That charge stemmed from the death of Larry Athey Sr., who Robinson punched outside the Vittle Village in New Waterford in 2005.

Robinson was also successfully sued by Athey’s widow, Patricia Athey, who received a $750,000 judgment by Pike in 2011.