Duffy hears sanctions on release

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — A co-defendant in the shooting death of Gregg Thompson in November 2015 in Martins Ferry said he is blessed to be home after being granted early release from prison.

In court Monday, Tyler Duffy, 23, of Wheeling, was released from the Eastern Ohio Correction Center after completing a six-month program there. Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato had approved early release in March.

In November of 2016, Duffy was sentenced to 36 months in prison for his role in the death after pleading guilty to burglary and involuntary manslaughter. Duffy was one of six co-defendants.

Thompson, 21, was shot and killed while at a friend’s residence at Jaycee Manor Apartments after a dispute that apparently began when one of the co-defendants took offense to a social media post.

Duffy drove one of the vehicles to the apartments but took no direct part in the crime. However, under the law, any individual participating in a criminal activity is exposed to prosecution for crimes that may result from that activity.

Defense attorneys argued that he was the least complicit and had not known a gun was present.

In a prior hearing, Fregiato said he believed Duffy had been influenced by the other defendants due to his developmental issues.

During the sanctions hearing, Fregiato reviewed the standard restrictions including curfew and restrictions from alcoholic beverages and association with known criminals.

Duffy said he looked forward to leading a law-abiding life and to making better decisions.

“I’m blessed,” Duffy said. “I’m glad to be back home, to be with my family.”

As for the other co-defendants, Darrondres Dunn, 19, of Wheeling, who fired the fatal shot, has been sentenced to a 20-year term for voluntary manslaughter. Brothers Antonio Jones, 28, of Martins Ferry and Roderick Jones, 23, of Benwood, each entered a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter. Antonio Jones was sentenced to 10 years in prison while Roderick Lee Jones was given the maximum sentence of 11 years with one year for a gun specification, for a total of 12 years. Jacob Aaron Lynch, 26, of McMechen, was given 36 months.

The sixth defendant is a juvenile and the matter will be handled in juvenile court.