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Witnesses say they saw man beat, shoot woman



Published: Fri, June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- Three witnesses watched Sharon May being pistol-whipped but didn't call 911 until the pistol was used to shoot her, police said.

May, 31, of Rosewood Avenue, died at 8:15 a.m. Thursday at St. Elizabeth Health Center, Lt. Robin Lees said. He said the bullet entered her right bicep and then her chest cavity.

Johnathan L. Stone, 34, of 144 W. Delason Ave., was taken into custody at his South Side home at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a charge of felonious assault. The charge was later upgraded to murder.

Stone's bond was set at $250,000 at arraignment Thursday in municipal court. Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly set a preliminary hearing for June 24.

Detective Sgt. John Kelty said May was beaten and shot during a domestic argument about "family issues." He declined to elaborate.

Kelty said the weapon, a .32-caliber revolver, may have been stolen in 1985. He said a ballistics check will be done.

The detective said a 2001 domestic violence case against Stone was dismissed when May failed to show up in court.

The first officers on the scene at 144 West Delason found May and Stone lying next to each other on the grass in the front yard. Stone was shirtless and May's shirt, covered with blood, was partially ripped off. She was unable to tell officers what happened.

Eyewitness accounts

Three witnesses told police that Stone shot May. Officers found a gun on the front porch near the steps.

The witnesses reported that May called them and said Stone was beating her and to come get her, reports show. The witnesses said thatwhen they arrived Stone was sitting on his porch, holding a handgun, police said.

Just then, May began walking toward the house and Stone started beating her with the gun in the street and yard, the witnesses told police. May got away, Stone went back to the porch, and May began to look for her car keys when Stone fired one shot, reports show.

The impact knocked May to the ground. Stone, realizing what he'd done, went to help her while the witnesses called 911, police said.

Stone was taken to the detective division downtown before being taken to jail. Police said they detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and noted his speech was slurred.

May is the city's 14th homicide victim of the year. At this time last year, the city had recorded 11 homicides.




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