Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Detective: Slayings a result of 'lifestyle'
A warrant was issued Monday for a homicide suspect.
YOUNGSTOWN Lifestyle can be deadly.
The city's violent weekend three separate homicides can be chalked up to "lifestyle," Capt. Kenneth Centorame, chief of detectives, said Monday. "More than half the homicides this year involved lifestyles where violence can occur."
Centorame said nothing emerged to indicate the shootings, one on Saturday and two on Sunday, are linked. Drugs as a motive, he said, haven't been ruled out for all three.
Detective Sgt. John Patton obtained an arrest warrant Monday afternoon for Edward E. Taylor II, 19, of Youngstown, Centorame said. Taylor is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, with the victim being James E. Dow, who was shot to death late Sunday afternoon on the North Side.
Centorame said anyone who knows Taylor's whereabouts should call the Street Crimes Unit at (330) 233-1858.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Dean Michael said investigators believe the fugitive of the week that appeared Monday in The Vindicator is Taylor's 47-year-old father, who is wanted on an unrelated felonious assault warrant.
Dow, 28, of South Lakeview Avenue, was found dead in the basement of 145 Thornton Ave. just before 7 p.m. Sunday. His feet were bound with tape. A revolver and shotgun were also found at the crime scene.
Dow may have been near an Elm Street convenience store when his friend, 26-year-old Emmanuel C. Bunkley of Lora Avenue, was wounded around 6 p.m. Sunday during what he described to police as an attempted robbery by three suspects wearing black hoodies. Bunkley, hit in the right hip/buttock area, ran and was found inside the foyer of a house on Ohio Avenue.
When asked where Dow was, Bunkley told police: "I don't know, he was with me when it started."
Mahoning County Common Pleas Court records show Dow was sentenced to two years' probation in July 2005 for cocaine possession. He was also ordered to attend parenting classes.
Wayman T. Harris, 25, the weekend's second homicide victim, was found shot to death in the basement of his home at 223 S. Truesdale Ave. on the East Side around 4:45 p.m. Sunday. He had been shot in the back of the head. His brother, who lives in Austintown, said he found the door open when he arrived and felt something wasn't right.
Police said an intricate surveillance system, with multiple monitors, was found in an upstairs bedroom. Cameras were then found on the house and front porch.
Harris had a breaking and entering charge in 2000 that was amended to theft. He spent 11 days in jail.
The first to die over the weekend, Henry "Tiny" Wilson, 68, was shot in the right side of his chest and died on a couch at his McGuffey Road home around 7:15 p.m. Saturday. A .22-caliber casing was found on the living room floor.
Wilson had been playing chess with his daughter's boyfriend, said Wilson's housemate, Mark Cheeks, 46. The boyfriend, Matthew Lee, 23, of Rachellen Avenue, Hubbard told police he ran home. He was located there by police and taken downtown for questioning.
Reports show Lee answered the door and a woman entered. Cheeks, who went to the basement to do laundry, heard a struggle and the victim say "I don't know nuthin' about that," followed by a shot. Cheeks got scared and ran out the garage, seeing two men in dark clothing run westbound on McGuffey, reports show.
The victim's daughter, Theia Wilson, 32, of Rachellen Avenue, Hubbard, told police she became worried because her boyfriend was taking so long to get barbecue and she went to her father's house. Two live .22-caliber rounds found in the back seat of a cruiser where she had been temporarily placed were seized as evidence, police said.
Mahoning County Common Pleas Court records show Henry Wilson pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in late August. His sentencing was set for Dec. 4. He was sentenced to two years in prison in October 1999 for possession of cocaine.
The two-day death toll brings the city's homicides to 33 this year. There were 28 homicides at this time last year and 32 for all of 2006.
The weekend slayings coincided with the release of a report compiled by a CQ Press, a unit of Congressional Quarterly Inc., that, using FBI statistics, ranks Youngstown as the nation's 15th-most dangerous city, up from ninth the previous year. In cities with populations that range from 75,000 to 99,999, it ranks fourth. Detroit is listed as the most dangerous city.
The American Society of Criminology issued a statement attacking the report as an "irresponsible misuse of crime data."
"It is what it is, the figures are from the FBI," said Police Chief Jimmy Hughes. "What we're doing is trying to reduce violent crime year to year and day to day and the report shows we're doing that."
Hughes said more than 30 arrests have been made in homicide cases this year, some from killings that took place in previous years. He said such arrests act as a big deterrent.
As to the weekend's three homicides, Hughes said when killings stem from arguments or are drug-related "it's difficult to get a handle on." Arrests, though, are made, he said.