Hung jury in Youngstown murder case

YOUNGSTOWN — A 10-woman, two-man jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict after 2 1/2 days of deliberations in the case of a man charged with murder in a shooting death six years ago outside a South Side bar.

The hung jury resulted in retired Visiting Judge Charles J. Bannon declaring a mistrial in the case of Shon D. Rankin, 28, of East Auburndale Avenue, who was charged in the June 9, 2001, death of Raymond Hayes, 32, of Mistletoe Avenue. Hayes was shot once in the back with a .22-caliber handgun outside Larry’s Lounge on Hillman Street. The 2 a.m. shooting followed what police said was a year-long grudge.

“There just weren’t credible witnesses coming forward to say what happened that night,” said John Jeffrey Limbian, Rankin’s defense lawyer, after the judge declared the mistrial this afternoon. “We ended up with a hung jury because there just isn’t sufficient evidence to convict Shon Rankin,” he added.

Rankin was secretly indicted and arrested in February 2007, after a jail inmate gave prosecutors information for a direct presentment to a Mahoning County grand jury. Had he been convicted of murder with a firearm specification, Rankin would have faced 18 years to life in prison. The trial, which began July 18, was in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. “We will definitely retry him,” said Paul Gains, county prosecutor.

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