Man sues apartment complex on behalf of his murdered sister

The woman died from head injuries after being abducted.

WARREN — The brother of a 61-year-old Niles woman murdered in 2005 has filed a lawsuit against the apartment complex where his sister lived, saying it failed to adequately protect her.

The suit, filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, says the Carnegie Arms Apartments Limited Partnership and Simco Management Corp., both of Youngstown, failed to protect Marilyn Guthrie of 1932 Youll Street, Apartment 55, from criminals and failed to provide adequate security.

Jeff Simon, vice president of Simco Management, said he did not want to comment on the suit until he had seen it.

It was filed by James L. Ruschman of McDonald. He was identified as Guthrie’s brother during news coverage from the murder trial against one of the defendants in the case.

Guthrie died of head injuries she received when her neighbor, Benjamin Beshara, 31, drove her car over her. Beshara was sentenced to life in prison without parole in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Others involved

Anthony D. Johnson, 18, of Steel Street, Youngstown, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the robbery and murder, while two 15-year-old boys from Second Street in Youngstown, Josiah Smith and Coryon Bertram, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in county juvenile court and were sentenced to detention until they are up to 21 years of age.

An assistant Mahoning County prosecutor said Beshara told his accomplices he’d lure Guthrie out of her apartment to rob her July 10, 2005, by saying he needed a ride to a store to get his ailing father’s medication.

When Guthrie emerged, Bertram rushed up to her and hit her, and Beshara grabbed her keys, opened her car door and trunk and put her in the trunk and closed it, Johnson testified. Beshara then robbed her apartment.

She was later taken from the car and run over on Parkcliff Avenue on Youngstown’s South Side.

The suit, which is assigned to Judge Andrew Logan, seeks damages in excess of $25,000 from Simco Management and its statutory agent, B. Richard Burdman of Youngstown, and five John Does whose names and addresses are unknown, “who may have caused or contributed to the incident at issue.”

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