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The defendant's mother burst into tears when the bond was announced.



Published: Thu, August 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant's mother burst into tears when the bond was announced.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Bond for Anthony D. Johnson was set at $3 million on charges that he kidnapped a 61-year-old Niles woman, then killed her with her own car.

Johnson, 18, of Steel Street, was arraigned Wednesday in municipal court. If he is able to post the bond, he must be placed on electronically monitored house arrest.

When Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. announced the bond, a woman in the gallery burst into tears. She and two companions then ran from court to avoid reporters.

As she ran, she identified herself as Johnson's mother and said, "My son didn't do it."

The charges

Johnson and Corrion Bertram, 17, of Second Street, are charged with the July 10 homicide of Marilyn Guthrie. Guthrie was the victim of a hit and run with her own car on Parkcliffe Avenue on the South Side around 5 a.m.

She was found face down on the street. Her car, a Chevrolet Cavalier, was found burned out near Belle Vista Avenue on the West Side on July 13.

Tuesday, Johnson was arrested at a convenience store on Market Street and Bertram was arrested at home. Bertram was taken to the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center to face a murder charge. A third suspect, 16, was released after questioning, police said.

Lt. Robin Lees said Wednesday that the case remains under investigation. He declined to comment about specifics, such as where Guthrie was abducted, what was taken in the robbery and so forth.

Lees referred questions to Jay Macejko, an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor. A receptionist at his office said he had no comment.

The allegations

In municipal court Wednesday, Dana C. Guarnieri, assistant city prosecutor, told Judge Douglas that Guthrie was abducted, robbed and put in the trunk of her car.

Guarnieri said Johnson, charged with aggravated murder and kidnapping, pulled Guthrie, who was still alive, out of the trunk then ran her over more than once. The woman was left in the street.

The prosecutor said more charges could be filed.

Guarnieri said in court that Johnson's criminal history as a juvenile included two burglary cases.

He was placed on probation for the first in 2002 and spent six months in the Department of Youth Services for the second in 2004, she said.

Guthrie, a regular attendee at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in McDonald, had no reason to be on the South Side that Sunday morning, July 10, her friends said after her death.

Friends said they will remember the way Guthrie enjoyed playing cards and games, watching old Doris Day movies and reading with her friends in a literary guild. They described her as energetic, independent, friendly and trustworthy.




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