Dawn Cantalamessa hired as assistant prosecutor in Ashtabula County
Former Mahoning County assistant procecutor, Dawn Cantalamessa is back on the job in Ashtabula County as of Friday, Aug. 20.
Cantalamessa originally worked as assistant prosecutor in Mahoning County, but resigned in August of 2021 after being placed on paid administrative leave when a judge disqualified her from acting as a prosecutor during a murder trial.
Common Pleas Judge John Durkin removed Cantalamessa from prosecuting the case of Lavontae Knight following a complaint by a defense attorney.
Knight, along with George Gutierres is accused of fatally shooting Joshua Donatelli in 2018.
In his ruling, Judge Durkin found that Cantalamessa made a false statement to the court by denying that Gutierres had named Knight as the shooter in the crime.
Judge Durkin characterized this as a careless indifference in ascertaining the truth. Durkin also criticized Cantalamessa for failing to tell the defense about a plea deal offered to Gutierres.