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‘Instigator’ in New Phila drive-by shooting sentenced

| May 28, 2024
Xavier Schott, 21, of New Philadelphia, at his sentencing for felonious assault and attempted murder in connection with last October's drive-by shooting on East High Avenue. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 28, 2024) – Another one of the suspects in last year’s drive-by shooting on the east side of the city is heading to prison.

21-year-old Xavier Schott will spend a mandatory 3 years behind bars and up to 9 total for the October 23rd shooting along East High Avenue. Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer asked for a year and a half more, characterizing Schott as the mastermind and instigator who directed the shooter and others involved from afar.

“I understand Xavier was not the shooter, but I also think that this wouldn’t have happened but for him; that he was instrumental in his involvement, which he has clearly minimized in a way that’s almost absurd like he called off the plan.”  

No one was injured in the shooting that occurred while the victim and two others were standing on a porch and the homeowner was inside sleeping. Schott’s public defender asked for the lightest punishment possible, saying he was severely abused as a child and liked to ‘talk big’ to make up for his insecurities but wasn’t the ringleader the prosecution made him out to be.

“Why would the mastermind of the plan choose not to be in the vehicle to ensure the so-called plan would be carried out and instead go to the actual location and place himself in the line of fire?”

Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest handed down the punishment, which will be followed by a mandatory two to five years of parole.

“There’s nothing that could have taken place on the porch that would have justified sending out a group of people who are high on methamphetamine with an assault rifle to take care of it. This was total stupidity on everyone’s part…These are bullets that could have ended the lives of innocent people because of stupidity, out of complete disregard for human life over the most petty of issues that exist amongst friends or acquaintances. This is conduct that can never be tolerated.”

The gunman and driver were both ordered to serve more than a decade behind bars, and four others are still facing charges for their alleged involvement.

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