A court document says the gunman ran into police moments after the slaying.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Prosecutors are considering seeking the death penalty for Chad Karpenko, whose fingerprints, they said, were found at the Hillsdale Northwest house where Harvey Hill, 66, was shot to death by a burglar.
Karpenko, 20, of Newton Falls, was formally charged Thursday with aggravated murder in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
He pleaded innocent.
Judge Peter J. Kontos set no bond for Karpenko, who was paroled from prison March 11 after serving about three years for a burglary conviction.
Prosecutors are considering seeking the death penalty in this case because the slaying took place during the commission of a felony, said Chris Becker, an assistant county prosecutor.
Shortly after midnight Monday, a man dressed in black and carrying a handgun stumbled into two parked police cars moments after the officers heard a single shot, police said in a sworn statement submitted to court.
The man changed direction and ran into a wooded area. Police lost him, but they found on the ground a Colt .25 automatic pistol with an attached flashlight.
A second firearm, a Colt .32 revolver that had belonged to the victim, was found in the same general area later Tuesday, police said.
While officers chased the suspected gunman, a 911 call came in from Hill's house, police said. The caller did not speak.
Two other Warren police officers knocked down the door of the house about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday after looking through a window and seeing Hill bleeding on the floor.
He was pronounced dead at Trumbull Memorial Hospital from a single gunshot wound.
Karpenko was brought in by police Wednesday after fingerprints left on a window frame with a cut screen were matched by computer with his.
Police said Karpenko told them he visited the house the week before to look at firearms.