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  Appeals Court Upholds Conviction Of Armed Man Found Walking Down Market St. At 4:00 a.m.  
  May 9, 2024 Edition  
     “When the court raised the issue of obtaining a competency evaluation, [Ron Chapell] objected,
      saying he planned to run against President Joe Biden in 2024”
      The Seventh District Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a 36-year-old man who was found by Boardman police walking down the middle of Market St. about 4:00 a.m. on July 1, 2022 while armed with a loaded 9mm handgun (one round in the chamber) and carrying four magazines of ammunition.
      The man, Ronald Chappell, whose last known address is 136 West Boston, Youngstown, Oh., was wanted on a warrant for theft issued by Youngstown police at the time he was encountered by Boardman police.
      In Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, Chappell was found guilty of having a weapon under a disability and carrying a concealed weapon, and sentenced to two years in jail.
      When first approached by Sgt. David Sheely in the early morning hours of July 1, he claimed he was an investigative journalist who walked around public areas speaking into his phone or videotaping discussing his claims as a journalist.
      At trial in common pleas court, Chappell agreed the handgun he was carrying was concealed and also that he was under a disability (not allowed to carry a concealed weapon). He claimed he carried the gun due to the danger he believed he faced as a result of his investigative journalism.
      Chappell told the trial court he “regularly works with the FBI and CIA, and oversaw a torture program used with terrorists (and that he was working in getting a cure to AIDS and breast cancer, and mass producing it to people in the world).” He claimed he should be treated as a’ whistleblower’ who had to choose between complying with the law…or risk his life without any means of protection.”
      “[Chappell] did not demonstrate he was subject to an imminent threat and, in fact, the evidence showed the street was completely empty at the time of his arrest,” Appellate Judge Cheryl Waite said in an opinion to which Judges Mark Hanni and Carol Ann Robb concurred.
      In her opinion, Judge Waite noted the trial court “determined [Chappell] did not face any, specific harm…Because there was no, active threat, the court found that it is impossible to demonstrate that a firearm is an equal response to a non-existent threat.”
      According to Judge’s Waite’s decision, “When the court raised the issue of obtaining a competency evaluation, [Chapell] objected, saying he planned to run against President Joe Biden in 2024 and feared this evaluation would impact his ability.”
      Judge Waite also noted that despite the conviction, Chapell “does not recognize himself as having ever broke the law.”
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