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Man pleads innocent to charges



Published: Thu, July 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The shooting took place in May; the fatal accident in June.

YOUNGSTOWN -- An Aug. 17 trial date has been set for Frank A. Bell, 24, of Willis Avenue, who is charged with felonious assault and aggravated vehicular homicide.

Bell, who had his video arraignment Wednesday before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, entered an innocent plea to both charges.

His pretrial hearing is set for next week, and his case is assigned to Judge James C. Evans.

Police accused Bell of shooting a man in the leg May 5. He also is accused of colliding with a motorcyclist June 1 while driving a vehicle on the South Side.

Police said Oliver Danko, 67, of North Hartford Avenue, died when his motorcycle, after struck by Bell's car on Market Street, hit a street sign.

Police said Bell was traveling north on Market and members of the Street Crimes Unit, in an unmarked cruiser, were traveling south near West Florida Avenue when they spotted Bell, who was wanted on the felonious assault warrant.

By the time police turned around to follow Bell, he already had crashed with the motorcyclist near Hylda Avenue, police said.

The charges pending against Bell are both second-degree felonies, which carry maximum eight-year prison sentences.

Also arraigned was Duniek Christian, 20, of North Garland Avenue, who pleaded innocent to a heroin possession charge. Police arrested him May 23 and he was released from jail after posting bond. His trial also was set for Aug. 17 before Judge Evans. He faces a maximum prison term of one year in prison if convicted.

Christian is one of four men facing charges for shooting at police and eluding a manhunt last week on the city's East Side.




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