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YOUNGSTOWN Woman hurt in shooting sues four



Published: Wed, July 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Criminal charges against one of the four defendants were dismissed.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A city woman who was injured during a shooting is suing the men who were accused in it. The shooting happened during a robbery a year ago at a South Side bar.

Diane Nail of Tod Avenue seeks unspecified damages from Edward D. Brandon 17, of East Boston Avenue; James Goins, 16, of East Indianola Avenue; Jawaun Phifer, 17, of Roxbury Avenue; and Kenneth Rodgers, 17, of East Indianola Avenue.

Nail's three minor children are also named as plaintiffs in the suit, filed Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. It is assigned to Judge Robert G. Lisotto.

What happened: Nail was at the South Side Civics Lounge in the early July 5, 2000, when the business was robbed at gunpoint. She was shot in the back and left shoulder as she ran for cover in a restroom at the back of the lounge.

Brandon, Goins, Rodgers and Phifer were all charged as adults the shooting. Brandon and Phifer pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple counts of felonious assault and aggravated robbery.

Brandon is serving 18 years and Phifer is serving 23 years in prison. Rodgers is awaiting trial in common pleas court.

Can't work: At Phifer's sentencing in February, Nail told Judge R. Scott Krichbaum that her injuries from the shooting have left her unable to use her left arm, which has prevented her from working as a beautician, her occupation before she was shot.

Nail said she and her boyfriend had gone to the lounge that night because it was the only one open so late on a holiday.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Goins because they could not prove their case against him.

The other three confessed their roles, but Goins did not admit participation, authorities said. The others pegged him as being there, but none of the victims was able to identify him.

No evidence: Without having independent evidence from other witnesses, the state could not proceed against Goins.

Goins faces adult charges in an unrelated beating and robbery spree earlier this year. He and Chad Barnette, 16, are accused of the attempted murder of 83-year-old William Sovak of Miller Street and the felonious assault on Elizabeth Luchisan, 59, and her 63-year-old husband, Louis, in their Marmion Avenue home.




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