Friday, July 14, 2000

Neglected teen sent to prison

Judge blamed dad for son's troubled life

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Anthony Pugh Sr. missed most of his son's life. He wasn't around when Anthony Jr. left home at age 13. He wasn't around when he ran the streets with friends, stealing from shops and eating out of garbage cans.

        But he showed up Thursday in court to see his teenage son sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for murder.

        Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh told him he bears almost as much responsibility for the crime as his son.

        “You've got a hell of a nerve to show up here today,” the judge said angrily. “If there was any boy who needed a father, he needed you. Where were you?”

        “I wasn't there,” Mr. Pugh responded.

        Judge Marsh then ordered him from the courtroom.

        “Get out!” she yelled. “Get out. Get out. Get out now!”

        After Mr. Pugh left the room, the judge sentenced his son to 15 years to life in prison for the murder of Anthony Isaacs.

        She said his behavior on the night he and two friends killed Mr. Isaacs resembled that of “an animal.”

        Prosecutors have said that Anthony Pugh Jr., now 15, helped two older teens pull Mr. Isaacs from a parked car in Over-the-Rhine on the night of Aug. 29.

        The three teens punched and kicked Mr. Isaacs and another man, Glenn Brayton, before taking their money and running away.

        Mr. Isaacs, 30, of Maineville, died from severe head injuries. Mr. Brayton, 30, of Loveland, survived the attack.

        The other two defendants in the case have been convicted.

        In court Thursday, Judge Marsh said the roots of the crime go back to Anthony Pugh Jr.'s brief childhood. She said his father abandoned him and his mother was unable to care for him.

        Over time, the judge said, the boy began stealing to support himself and eating out of trash cans to survive. He also began to hang out with thugs.

        “I'm not really looking at a citizen of this society,” she told the convicted killer. “I'm looking at an animal living on the streets.”

        For that, she said, the boy's father is to blame.

        “You (weren't) here for all the times he was in trouble,” the judge scolded the father. “You didn't show up one single day.”


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