YOUNGSTOWN Motion seeks to have boy, 16, tried as adult
The teens have denied the allegations.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Juvenile prosecutors filed a motion to transfer to adult court the case of a 16-year-old boy accused of killing another teen and dumping his body into the Mahoning River.
Dustin W. Phipps, of Moyer Street in Boardman, was arraigned Friday in Mahoning County Juvenile Court on charges of murder with a firearm and fifth-degree felony abuse of a corpse. He denied the accusations, and Judge Theresa Dellick advised him that he would remain detained in the juvenile justice center.
Police said Phipps used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot 18-year-old Adam T. Dixon of Boardman in the head three times early Thursday after an argument at a South Side Youngstown apartment of friends.
He appeared in court with his mother, Judith Phipps, and Atty. Mark Lavelle of New Middletown. Mrs. Phipps declined to comment.
Also in cou rt were 10 friends and family of Dixon.
"He was a great kid and he didn't deserve to have anything happen to him like this," said Dixon's aunt, Tammy Eisenbraun of Boardman, after the court proceeding. "It was just so cold-blooded, so senseless. Children shouldn't want to do this to another person."
"Right now his mother and father are in shock," said another aunt, Nancy Dornan of Austintown. "They can't understand why. None of us understand why this happened at all."
Also in court: Also arraigned in juvenile court was Michael Stanton, 17, with Boardman and Youngstown addresses, on a fifth-degree felony charge of abuse of a corpse.
He denied the charge, and Judge Dellick said he would remain detained at the justice center. Prosecutors have not moved to have his case transferred to adult court.
Stanton appeared at the hearing with his parents, Elizabeth and Kenneth Stanton, and Boardman lawyer Jeffrey Limbian.
Limbian declined to comment, as did Kenneth Stanton.
Investigators allege that Michael Stanton helped Phipps dump the body.
Location of body: Dixon's body was found Thursday morning in the river behind the waste treatment plant on East Water Street in Lowellville.
He was killed in an upper-floor apartment on West Boston Avenue in Youngstown at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday and his body was dumped less than a half-hour later, police reports say.
A witness told investigators that the three teens were wrestling in the apartment when a fight broke out and Phipps became angry with Dixon, accusing him of not fighting Stanton fairly, police reports show.
As Dixon attempted to leave the apartment, Phipps shot him once in the forehead from about four feet away and twice in the left side of the head from about six inches away, taunting him, the witness said.
The witness, 18, is a tenant of the apartment and said the rifle belongs to him. He said the three teens, himself and his girlfriend, 18, had been "playing around" with the rifle hours before the shooting, and Phipps had fired about two or three shots off the residence's front porch.
After shooting Dixon, Phipps placed garbage bags around the body and persuaded Stanton to help him carry it down the steps and to the car that Dixon had driven to the apartment, the witness said. Police reports show it was his sister's car.
The teens were arrested as they hid in a building on Main Street in Struthers after they jumped from the car as Struthers police attempted to stop it on Bridge Street. Stanton has told police he was driving the car. There was blood on the car's back seat, police said.