Friday, July 13, 2001

Trio sentenced for looting store

Judge chastises men for riot roles

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        You are part of a group “hell-bent on destroying property and this community,” a Hamilton County judge told three men Thursday.

        Then Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel sentenced them to prison and $130,000 in restitution each for looting a Deveroes store during the April riots.

        Reno Lattimore, 22, Darren Gamble, 18, and Robert C. Davis, 24, were arrested after people were found looting the clothing store in Avondale April 12.

        Deveroes officials tallied the store's damages at $131,000. “The problem with young people today is that they do not accept responsibility for what they have done. It's always society or everybody else's fault,” Judge Nadel said.

        Emotions ran high during the 90-minute sentencing hearing as family members, attorneys and the three men debated with the judge about societal ills, disparate treatment of Cincinnati's black residents by authorities, and reductions in teen jobs programs.

        “People were out venting their anger — getting out their frustrations — it doesn't mean that just because they were out there that they were destroying property and stealing,” said Jeff Gamble, father of Darren Gamble.

        Attorneys for each man told Judge Nadel they planned to appeal, contending that the jury instructions the judge gave were confusing.

        “So, it's my fault now,” the judge said.

        Mr. Davis and Mr. Gamble were each convicted of breaking and entering, a felony, and riot, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to one year in prison and six months in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

        Mr. Lattimore was convicted of the same two charges, plus falsification, another misdemeanor, and was sentenced to one year in prison and one year in jail.

        Addressing Judge Nadel, Mr. Gamble's father said his son deserved to be punished, but should not be used as an example.

        “He shouldn't be blamed for the mass destruction that happened during the riots,” Mr. Gamble said.

        Darren Gamble told the judge he went into the store to look for his cousin, because he feared he was inside.

        Mr. Davis told the judge that the riots were “a part of history.” He could not explain why he was inside Deveroes and would not say what his intentions were.

        Mr. Lattimore said he was standing in the parking lot of a nearby Burger King and was rounded up with several others who had been inside the store.

        None of the three was caught with any merchandise from the store.


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