Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Elyria
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Cops and Courts

Women in Gibson's case face felony charges; misdemeanors dropped

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OBERLIN — Misdemeanor assault charges against two Oberlin College students who allegedly beat up an employee of Gibson’s Bakery were dismissed in Municipal Court after the pair was indicted on felony robbery charges.

Endia Lawrence and Cecelia Whettstone, both 19, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court to robbery charges stemming from a November incident that led to protests against Gibson’s Bakery.

A third college student, Jonathan Aladin, 19, was charged with robbery in Oberlin Municipal Court, but that case was dropped and sent to the grand jury after Oberlin Municipal Court Judge Thomas Januzzi rejected a plea deal.

Aladin pleaded not guilty to robbery and a misdemeanor forgery charge during his appearance in Common Pleas Court with the women Thursday. The forgery charge stems from the fake identification Aladin allegedly used at Gibson’s during the incident.

According to records filed Friday in Oberlin Municipal Court, city Prosecutor Frank Carlson dismissed the charges because of the felony indictments.

Jack Bradley, the attorney for Lawrence and Whettstone, has said this was expected.

Oberlin police reported that Aladin tried to buy a bottle of wine Nov. 9, but Allyn Gibson, whose family owns the bakery, refused to sell it to him. Gibson also confronted Aladin about two bottles of wine the student allegedly had hidden under his shirt.

The police report on the incident said Gibson told Aladin he was calling the police and not to leave. Aladin allegedly tried to leave, and Gibson told police he took out his phone to take a picture.

Aladin allegedly slapped Gibson’s phone out of his hand, and the device hit Gibson in the face. Police have said Aladin then ran out of the store, throwing the two bottles of wine to the floor.

Gibson chased after Aladin and the two men got into a physical confrontation outside. When police arrived, they reported seeing Gibson on the ground with Aladin, Lawrence and Whettstone hitting him.

Contact Jodi Weinberger at 329-7245 or jweinberger@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jodi_Weinberger.



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