COLUMBIANA COUNTY Murder trial is slated to begin
A last-minute attempt to have certain evidence dismissed failed.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- A Knox Township man charged with aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder is to go on trial Monday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.
Judge David Tobin will hear the case against Gregory Doak, 44, of Knox School Road.
Doak faces a maximum life sentence if convicted in the April 7 shooting death of Teresa Stoffer, 42, of Knox Township.
A 10-year maximum sentence could be imposed if he is convicted of attempting to kill his estranged wife, Angela, 39, also of Knox Township.
County Prosecutor Robert Herron would say little about the case on the eve of the trial, other than that he expects the trial will last all week. Jury selection and opening arguments are both likely to occur Monday, Herron said.
Doak is being represented by defense attorneys Chris Amato of Wellsville and Lawrence Stacey II of Columbiana.
Authorities say that Doak went armed with a rifle to a trailer park along U.S. Route 62 last spring, seeking to kill his wife and Stoffer, who both lived in the park. The two women were friends and neighbors.
Doak encountered Stoffer first and shot her because he believed she had interfered with his marriage, authorities have said.
After slaying Stoffer, Doak shot his way into his wife's trailer just as she fled out another door.
Doak hunted for her throughout the park; when he failed to find her, he returned to her trailer and shot himself three times, authorities say.
Police stormed trailer
Police stormed the trailer and arrested him without incident. Doak has since recovered from his wounds and has been held in the county jail without bail.
Doak's defense was dealt a blow last week when Judge Tobin refused a pre-trial motion by Doak's attorneys to disallow as evidence a statement police say Doak made to them after they stormed the trailer following the shooting.
Officer Kevin Moore of the Alliance Police Department's special response team had told authorities that he was among the lawmen who entered the trailer and found Doak wounded.
Moore has said that he recited to Doak his constitutional rights upon arrest, including the right to remain silent, and that Doak acknowledged he understood.
Moore then asked Doak if he knew he had just killed Stoffer. According to Moore, Doak replied, "I know I did."
Doak's attorneys argued that Doak's alleged confession should not be allowed as evidence.
His constitutional rights were violated because the severity of his wounds prevented him from understanding what was going on at the time of his arrest and he did not sign a wavier of his rights, Amato and Stacey argued.
Judge Tobin disagreed, saying that Doak "clearly understood what was being said to him."