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TRUMBULL COUNTY Former cop denies accusation



Published: Thu, September 20, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former police officer said he knew the victim and would not have arranged his death.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A former Youngstown police officer, who prosecutors say offered to have a government informant killed, says he's innocent and has no idea why prosecutors are implicating him in the murder.

Carlos Eggleston, 31, of Warren, who worked as a police officer in Youngstown from 1994 to 2000, said he had no involvement with Bradrick L. McMillan's death.

Prosecutors, however, told jurors in Shawn Lynell Armstrong's murder trial that Eggleston, a police officer at the time, met with Lance Pough, who has pleaded guilty in the case, and said he could have McMillan killed for $7,000.

Eggleston has not been charged, and prosecutors said Tuesday that his whereabouts were unknown.

Where he's at: Eggleston, however, is living in Warren. He says he doesn't know why his name is surfacing in the killing. He said he talked to prosecutors about two years ago but noted that they were asking him questions about another officer.

Eggleston said: "But, this stuff about me arranging to have Brad killed is not true. It never happened. I knew Brad most of my life. We fought every day when we were growing up, but then we got to be friends. I would not arrange his murder."

Eggleston said he is surprised that prosecutors didn't know his whereabouts because he often talks to police officers.

"First, I am 6 foot 1 and 355 pounds; how am I going to hide?" Eggleston said. "I am not working right now so that I can stay home and help raise my four children. I go to the football games every week and am talking to officers. Plus, I take my kids to football practice. I'm pretty visible."

Eggleston said he has also known Armstrong, Pough and Arthur Bell, who has also pleaded guilty in the case, since he was a child.

Prosecutors declined to comment about Eggleston's statements.

Police say McMillan was shot in the head outside the Elks Club on Highland Avenue in Warren Township on Aug. 9, 1998.

Weapon: Prosecutors also said the gun used in the killings belonged to Andre Peterson, also a former Youngstown police officer and one of Armstrong's friends. Armstrong was driving Peterson's car the night of the killing, prosecutors said.

Peterson has not been charged. He resigned from the police department Feb. 12, 1999. Peterson has said the gun believed to be the murder weapon had been stolen from him.

Police say Armstrong, 30, Pough, 28, and Bell, 31, all of Warren, planned the killing of McMillan, who was scheduled to testify against Pough in a drug case.

Armstrong is on trial in Trumbull County common pleas court on a charge of aggravated murder with a gun specification. If convicted, he faces 23 years to life in prison. The trial was to continue today in the courtroom of Judge Andrew Logan.

Pough and Bell both pleaded guilty to murder charges. Bell was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the murder charge and one year on a gun specification. Pough was sentenced to 15 years to life on the murder charge and three years on a gun specification.




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