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YOUNGSTOWN Teen faces adult trial in killing



Published: Thu, May 30, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A separate charge of abusing a corpse is pending in juvenile court.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A Boardman teen-ager will be tried as an adult in the death of another teen.

Dustin W. Phipps, 16, of Moyer Street, was bound over from Mahoning County Juvenile Court to be tried as an adult in common pleas court for murder.

The ruling was made Wednesday by Judge Theresa Dellick, who ordered Phipps held in the county jail on a $500,000 bond. Phipps previously had been kept in the juvenile justice center.

Phipps also is charged with abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony. That charge was not sent to the adult court, though, said defense attorney Mark Lavelle of New Middletown. It will be handled in juvenile court or dismissed, Lavelle said.

He said the bindover on the murder charge was not unexpected.

"Now, we'll just deal with what we have do at the common pleas level," Lavelle said.

He said Phipps is subject to indictment by a county grand jury on the murder charge.

The details

Police say Phipps used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot 18-year-old Adam T. Dixon of Boardman three times in the head at a West Boston Avenue apartment on Youngstown's South Side in January.

Phipps and another man, Michael Stanton, put Dixon's body in the trunk of Phipps' car and drove it away, dumping it in the Mahoning River. The body was found later the same day in the river behind the wastewater treatment plant in Lowellville.

A witness told police that Phipps, Dixon and Stanton were wrestling in the apartment when a fight broke out and Phipps became angry at Dixon, accusing him of not fighting Stanton fairly.

As Dixon attempted to leave the apartment, Phipps shot him once in the forehead from about four feet away, then twice more in the left side of the head from point-blank range, police said.

bjackson@vindy.com




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