Arrest warrant issued for Cleveland 15-year-old who cut off GPS monitor before sentencing

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 11:21 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cleveland teenager who confessed to carjacking several young women in Little Italy at gunpoint and even shooting one woman was supposed to be sentenced Monday morning, but he never showed up.

Elena Donofrio, 28, lives and works in Little Italy managing a business. She was also one of 15-year-old Derrelle Travis’ victims.

We first interviewed her a year ago and she wanted to be anonymous, but on Tuesday she said she was so angry she didn’t even care anymore.

She wanted to show her face because she believes Travis never should have been put on house arrest in the first place.

“I was more scared I think than when it first happened,” Donofrio said.

It was a violent crime spree that had all of Little Italy on edge and the man behind it, wasn’t even a man at all.

Travis was just 14 years old when he carjacked four young women in Little Italy in December 2021, as well as a man in University Heights. He also shot another woman in Little Italy twice in the stomach before stealing her car.

“I mean I remember being a teenager and I never wanted to hurt anyone,” Donofrio said. “I guess I’m speaking for myself but even if you’re not all the way grown up you have some sense. He was showing that he did not value human life and made other citizens choose their property or their life. I’m always gonna choose my life but that means I’m over 20 grand in the hole and now I gotta spend my time just to be told, he’s gone.”

The teenager was supposed to be sentenced Monday morning by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams, but he never showed. As it turns out, he cut off his GPS ankle monitor and took off.

“Ankle bracelets are not supposed to be for violent criminals because this is what happens, and I believe the judge Cassandra Collier-Williams knew that and I think she should be held accountable for this as well as the parents,” Donofrio said.

On Feb. 23, Travis was released from the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center and placed on GPS monitoring.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley called Travis’ escape “completely avoidable” and said he hopes no one else gets hurt.

“I feel like it’s part of why juveniles feel like they have the courage to go do these kinds of things because they think, ‘Oh, I’ll be able to get out,’” Donofrio said.

Donofrio was carjacked on Christmas day in 2021.

“Durrell just came up to me and put the gun on me and said, ‘Give me your car or I’m gonna shoot you,’ and I was like alright hold on I grabbed like my purse and stuff ran up the stairs and I was about to go inside and he came up the stairs cause he didn’t know how to start the car so I like thought I was gonna die twice,” she recalled.

On March 20, Travis pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated robbery, one count of felonious assault, one count of having weapons while under disability, and one count of carrying concealed weapons.

As part of the plea deal, Travis faces a minimum prison sentence of 18 years.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Travis.