The arresting officer found a bloody box cutter in the victim's car.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Margaret Troll testified that the Cornersburg Giant Eagle parking lot was well lighted the night a slasher-mugger "came right up to my face."
The 78-year-old Austintown woman, her voice trembling at times, identified Arthur G. Williams as the attacker. She pointed to him when she took the witness stand Tuesday in municipal court.
Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly bound the case over to a Mahoning County grand jury after the preliminary hearing.
Williams, 49, of Summer Street, a convicted murderer, is charged with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and fleeing police. His bond is 1 million.
He is accused of cutting Troll's chin with a box cutter inside her green Oldsmobile and driving off with the car after she managed to roll out of the passenger side door onto the parking lot around 8:30 p.m. Oct. 9. He was captured within 15 minutes on Hudson Avenue on the South Side by Patrolman Chad Zubal and Patrolwoman Kelly Lamb.
"That's him wearing orange," Troll said during the hearing, pointing to Williams seated at the defense table. "He told me two or three times that he would kill me."
Bret Hartup, an assistant city prosecutor, asked Troll if Williams punched her in the face.
"Yes, many times," she answered. "I thought he broke my jaw."
She didn't realize Williams had a box cutter -- he told her he had a knife -- so when he said she was coming with him, "I said if you're going to kill me, you're going to kill me here."
Yelled for help
Once out of the car, Troll said she yelled "please help me" to a woman in the lot but the woman walked on by. At the same time, another woman in the lot was using her cell phone to call police, the victim testified.
"Police were there right away. ... They got him right away," Troll said, again pointing to Williams.
Under questioning by Williams' defense attorney, Ronald E. Knickerbocker, Troll said the parking lot was illuminated. She acknowledged that she didn't see a weapon. She said she wears glasses but only needs them to read.
Zubal testified that he was driving his cruiser west on Indianola Avenue, heading to the Giant Eagle, when he saw Troll's green Oldsmobile speeding eastbound on the road. The officer said he turned around, losing sight of the Oldsmobile for maybe five seconds as it crested the hill, and then saw the car turn right onto Hudson Avenue.
Zubal said the Oldsmobile began slowing down, possibly disabled. When it stopped in the 3400 block and the door popped open, the officer ordered Williams to the ground at gunpoint and handcuffed him.
Zubal said he saw a black purse on the bloody passenger seat, along with a woman's wallet and bloody box cutter. He said Troll's identification was in the wallet.
After court, Troll said her chin is better but her legs are black and blue and sore from falling out of the car. "I thought it would be worse," she said of testifying.
Vindicator files show Williams pleaded guilty to robbing and killing a North Side jeweler in December 1974.
He was 17 at the time but was tried as an adult. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the murder. He received another 15-year prison term for a 1990 aggravated robbery and was placed on parole in 2004.