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BROOKFIELD Murder victim's dad says son was trusting

By Joanne Viviano

Monday, April 1, 2002

One man has been indicted on aggravated-murder charges.
BROOKFIELD -- Justin Treasic was dependable, polite and trusting.
And it's likely that trusting nature that got him killed, said the father of the Youngstown State University student.
"This did not have to happen. They did not have to kill my son," Kenneth Treasic said. "... The only thing they planned to do that day is rob my son. You don't have to kill somebody to rob them."
What happened: Treasic, 21, of Logan Avenue in Youngstown, was found shot in the head in a North Side field Feb. 21. He died the next day.
Freddie Lewis, 19, of Victoria Street, has been indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on a charge of aggravated murder. He told police he was buying marijuana from Treasic and intended to rob him. Treasic, who knew Lewis, was killed when things went awry.
Police also seek a second suspect, 21-year-old William J. Vaughn, on an aggravated murder warrant.
Kenneth Treasic said the death of his only son has ruined his life.
The circumstances of the death, Treasic said, paint his son as a "major drug dealer, which is the farthest thing from the truth."
The death of Justin Treasic has been reported by police as a drug deal gone bad. His father said he believes the police investigations that show his son was selling marijuana. But he noted there was more to the slain man than a police report might indicate.
About the victim: "My son worked midnights full time at General Extrusions and went to school full-time because he wanted to make something of himself," Treasic said. "... He never missed work and, at 20 years old, was employee of the month."
Justin Treasic, who graduated with honors from Ursuline High School, was taking general classes at YSU, his father said. He wanted to be a doctor. He stayed at the home of his 82-year-old grandmother and cared for her.
"He was very trusting, very polite, very neat," the father said. "He had impeccable character. He had everything going for him in life. ... He was a good man."
At Ursuline, Treasic was a member of the National Honor Society, debate team, newspaper staff, Spanish club and soccer team, his father said. He was a horse rider and 4-H member who placed at state competitions and at the Canfield Fair.
Treasic said he believes Lewis intended to rob his son -- and killed him when there was no money or when Justin didn't have whatever the robber wanted.
"He was a good young man," Treasic said. "He didn't deserve to be shot like an animal."