Bond set at $1 million in murder at city bar
The man hid from authorities for nearly four months.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Bond was set at $1 million for a South Garland Avenue man accused of killing a 24-year-old Austintown woman in January.
LaTawon Townsend, 20, pleaded innocent to aggravated murder at his arraignment Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Police say Townsend shot Angela M. Loibl in the face as she hid in the kitchen of the T-N-T Bar on Steel Street on the city's West Side.
Loibl's family was in the courtroom for the arraignment, glaring at Townsend the entire time.
Townsend was crying when deputies led him into the courtroom and did not look at the victim's family or at Judge James C. Evans during the proceeding.
Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Franken asked that Townsend be held without bond because the presumption of his guilt is strong, witnesses could be harmed or killed if he's released, and because he is likely to flee the area if he's released.
Standoff: Townsend and a co-defendant, Jose Rivera, 23, of Grandview Avenue, were indicted by a county grand jury in January. Rivera immediately surrendered to police and has pleaded innocent. His bond was set at $250,000.
Townsend left the area and could not be found until earlier this week when police located him in Cleveland. He was taken into custody after a standoff at an apartment building on West 104th Street.
Townsend's attorney, Dennis DiMartino, asked for a $250,000 bond as well.
"He's still a human and entitled to bond, no matter how heinous and tragic the crime," DiMartino said.
What happened: Youngstown Detective Sgt. Ron Rodway said Townsend and Rivera had been in a fight with other men at the bar earlier that night. When a bouncer threw them out, they threatened to come back with guns, Rodway said.
They returned a short time later with weapons and went back into the bar, the detective said. Patrons scattered as Townsend, who reportedly had a laser sight on his gun, methodically walked through the bar as if he were looking for someone, Rodway said.
Loibl and some other women ran through a door into the kitchen, thinking it was an exit, and became trapped. Townsend followed them into the kitchen and shot Loibl, Rodway said.