CRIME Man charged with East Side murder, held without bail
The murder suspect was shot about 15 minutes after the killing.
By ROGER G. SMITH
YOUNGSTOWN -- A man authorities say has connections to recent East Side violence has been charged with murder.
William Aponte, 43, of Liberty Road, Youngstown, was arraigned Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney.
Authorities say he is responsible in the June 29 shooting death of Deandre Edwards, 18, of Woodcrest Avenue.
Aponte is charged with aggravated murder, two counts of felony assault, discharging a firearm into a habitation and firearm specifications on each count.
He is being held without bond. Trial is set for Nov. 2 before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum.
Link to shootout
Police say four armed East Side men accused of shooting at officers and eluding a six-hour dragnet in early July -- they later were captured -- likely were seeking to avenge Edwards' killing before police confronted them. One of the four men, who were armed with assault rifles and a 9mm handgun, was Deandre's brother, Jumal.
Jumal Edwards is accused of using a gun to threaten a Mount Zion Church secretary and steal her car after praying with her, telling her his brother had been killed. When the car became involved in a police pursuit, all four occupants opened fire, police said.
During the shootout with officers, one marked and one unmarked cruiser was shot and the suspects rammed another unmarked cruiser. The suspects abandoned their car and ran into the woods.
Aponte was caught in gunfire immediately after the Deandre Edwards shooting death.
About 15 minutes after Edwards was shot on Grandview Avenue, police found Aponte standing by his car a few block away on Albert Street. He had been shot in the head and covered in blood, using his cell phone to call 911.
Aponte said he had been on his way to his son's house nearby with a nephew and was shot while driving on Grandview. Aponte told police that as he turned onto Grandview three men standing near a car in the 1300 block pulled guns and opened fire. Police said the back window of Aponte's 1992 Mustang convertible had been shot out and several AK-47 assault rifle shells were found in the rear seat area.