Bond reset at $1 million
YOUNGSTOWN -- The bond on a man accused in the strangulation death of a 22-year-old Austintown woman was reset at $1 million by a judge in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Christopher L. Anderson, 34, of Parkman, is accused of killing Amber Zurcher in June in her Compass West apartment.
Anderson had been held on a $1 million bond upon his initial appearance in county court in Austintown. That bond was changed, and Anderson was ordered held without bond by Judge R. Scott Krichbaum upon arraignment last week at the common pleas level.
Judge James C. Evans reinstated the $1 million cash or surety bond Friday. The change was made at the request of the county prosecutor's office. Defense attorney Joseph F. Rafidi, who represented Anderson at his arraignment, said he would file a motion for a lower bond if he is retained or appointed to the case.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A judge has agreed to release a transcript of confidential testimony of a Boardman woman who was forced to testify before a Mahoning County grand jury in her son's murder case.
Beverly Hogan of Forestridge Drive was called to testify before the grand jury twice. She refused to testify the first time and was ordered by a common pleas court judge during a hearing Aug. 22 to talk or be jailed. She testified that day in the closed-door proceeding after prosecutors granted her immunity from criminal prosecution.
Hogan's son, Michael, is accused in the May 31 killing of John K. Ruble Sr. at a Boardman recycling center. He is being held in the county jail awaiting trial.
Judge James C. Evans ordered Friday that the transcript be released to Michael Hogan's attorney, Mark Lavelle, at Lavelle's request. The order says that the transcript is to be delivered to Judge Evans in a sealed envelope and no copies are to be made. Judge Evans also ordered that the defense may see a transcript of the hearing during which Beverly Hogan was ordered to testify.
Horse had West Nile
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Health officials have determined that a dead horse in New Wilmington was infected with the West Nile virus.
Janice Alberico, director of Lawrence County's West Nile surveillance program, said officials will boost mosquito collection in the New Wilmington area to monitor the spread of the virus. The virus affects humans, birds and horses but can be transmitted only by mosquitoes.
Alberico said local officials are waiting for state health officials to give them more instructions about how to treat the area. She noted there are vaccinations available for horses. In addition to the horse, seven dead birds and one mosquito pool in Lawrence County have tested positive for West Nile virus this year.
Bond set for Texas man
YOUNGSTOWN -- Bond was set at $25,000 Friday in municipal court for Christopher Corbett, 22, of Texas, who is charged with assault, aggravated menacing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Corbett, who has been staying at his mother's home in Niles, is accused of masturbating in a tree in the Uptown section of Market Street at 2 a.m. Friday, using a tree branch to strike a patrolman and spitting on the officer. Corbett, when handcuffed and escorted to a cruiser, banged his head on a window then on the overhead light bar, police said.
9/11 ceremony planned
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County will have a ceremony Wednesday on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The program will be at the county government center on Court Street. It will begin at 8:44 a.m., one minute before the first attack took place.
New Castle firefighters will ring the old courthouse bell three series of five rings, the fireman's mourning ring. The Rev. Don Aull, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church of New Castle, will offer an invocation. The New Castle police honor guard will raise a flag at half-staff, and county deputy sheriffs will lead the pledge of allegiance.
Murder bond set
YOUNGSTOWN -- When Municipal Judge Robert P. Milich set a murder bond Friday at $1 million cash or surety for Jesse J. Driver III, his mother began wailing and imploring the judge not to take her only son. The mother was removed from the courtroom by family and friends who attended Driver's arraignment.
Driver, 26, of West Glenaven Avenue, is accused of shooting Charles A. Green, 24, of Lansdowne Boulevard on Sunday. Green died Wednesday night. Anthony J. Farris, an assistant prosecutor, said the motive was a woman both men were interested in. Driver will be back in court Sept. 16 for a preliminary hearing.