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Mahoning grand jury passes on firearm indictment for Cavs' Kevin Porter Jr.

Evidence presented to the grand jury suggested Porter "may not have known" there was a firearm in the vehicle he crashed last month, prosecutors said, as both the vehicle and the firearm were owned by his mother.
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Bryan Porter

YOUNGSTOWN — A Mahoning County grand jury on Thursday declined to indict Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr. on a felony firearm charge.

Porter, 20, of Cleveland, was charged with a felony count of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, as well as a misdemeanor count of drug abuse and traffic violations after he crashed and rolled his vehicle along State Route 534 in Milton Township last month.

Inside Porter's vehicle, state troopers found a loaded .45-caliber handgun and an unspecified amount of suspected marijuana, according to a report.

Mike Yacovone, the Mahoning County assistant prosecutor who presented the case to the grand jury, said Porter's attorneys presented several pieces of evidence suggesting Porter might not have known the firearm was in the glove compartment.

That evidence showed Porter had purchased the vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz GLE, as a gift for his mother, Ayanna Denise Porter, though the vehicle was registered in Kevin Porter's name to maintain the surprise.

In an official affidavit, Ayanna Porter, who legally owns the firearm and maintains a concealed carry permit she obtained while living in Seattle, attested Porter borrowed the vehicle the day before the crash; also that she'd forgotten she left the firearm in the vehicle after visiting a gun range.

Ayanna Porter said she would have otherwise removed it from the glove compartment before Kevin Porter borrowed it, according to the affidavit.

Prosecutors earlier this month dismissed Porter's misdemeanor drug charge, to which Porter had pleaded not guilty, as the substance had not yet been lab-tested to prove it was marijuana.

Porter initially pleaded not guilty to traffic offenses including failure to control and driving without a valid license. He later pleaded to failure to control, and the license violation was dropped.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, in an initial release about the crash, reported they did not believe Porter was impaired when he crashed — rather, that he was "fatigued."

Justin Dennis

About the Author: Justin Dennis

Justin Dennis has been on the beat since 2011, covering crime, courts and public education. Dennis grew up in Poland and Salem and studied journalism and communications at Cleveland State University and University of Pittsburgh.
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