YOUNGSTOWN 3 men to be tried in rape, robberies
Jurors will be instructed to consider each case separately, the judge said.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Despite objections of their lawyers, three city men will be tried together in the kidnapping and rape of a Boardman woman last year.
Chaz Bunch, Brandon Moore and Andre Bundy are scheduled for trial Sept. 23 in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Their lawyers had filed motions asking the cases to be tried separately, fearing that "spillover evidence" from one man's case could unfairly taint the jury against the others.
But Judge R. Scott Krichbaum ruled that there's no proof any of the men would be harmed by trying the cases together and ordered that they move forward that way.
He said jurors will be instructed at the proper time about considering the charges against each defendant independently.
Bunch, 17, of Willis Avenue, faces multiple counts of rape, complicity to rape, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated menacing and conspiracy to aggravated robbery.
Moore, 16, of Applecrest Court, faces charges of rape, kidnapping and three counts of aggravated robbery. He and Bunch are being tried as adults.
Bundy, 19, of West Hylda Avenue, is accused of being involved in the robberies but not the rape.
A fourth suspect, 22-year-old Jamar Callier of West Dewey Avenue, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to reduced charges and is expected to testify against the others. Prosecutors recommended that he receive a seven-year prison sentence.
Defense lawyers Damian Billak and James Gentile, who represent Moore and Bundy, asked that two robbery counts against their clients be pulled out and tried separately because they involve victims other than the woman who was raped and robbed.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Maillis said, however, that they should be tried together because all counts were included in the same indictment and all the robberies took place on the same day, within two hours of each other.
Judge Krichbaum agreed and said there is no need to try the defendants twice.