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WARREN Jury keeps working in Armstrong murder trial



Published: Wed, September 26, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant refused to testify about the case.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A jury resumed deliberating today the fate of Shawn Lynell Armstrong, accused of killing a government informant.

Jurors spent eight hours in the jury room Tuesday before Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court allowed them to go home for the night.

Police say Armstrong, 30; Lance Pough, 28; and Art Bell, 31, all of Warren, planned to kill Bradrick McMillan, who was scheduled to testify against Pough in a drug case.

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

The charge: Armstrong is charged with aggravated murder with a gun specification. If convicted, he faces 23 years to life in prison. The trial began Sept. 17. Armstrong, who did not testify, has maintained his innocence.

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.

Prosecutors said they do not know the identity of the shooter.

Gun's owner: Prosecutors have said the gun used in the killings belonged to Andre Peterson, a former Youngstown police officer, who is one of Armstrong's friends. They said Armstrong was driving Peterson's car the night of the killing.

Peterson, who has not been charged, has told The Vindicator he had no involvement in the murder, that his gun had been stolen. He declined during an interview to say why Armstrong had his car.

Carlos Eggleston, former Youngstown police officer, who prosecutors also implicated in the murder during opening statements in the trial, said Armstrong was going to fix Peterson's car. Eggleston, who has not been charged, has also told the newspaper he had no involvement in the murder. Although prosecutors in the Armstrong case identified both Peterson and Eggleston as each playing a role in the conspiracy to kill McMillan, they refused to discuss why neither man has been charged.

Peterson, who resigned from the police department Feb. 12, 1999, to take a job in Columbus, said he was recuperating from knee surgery and was at his mother's home the night of the murder.




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