Two Masury residents arraigned on charges tied to a fatal shooting posted bond.
WARREN — Two Masury residents tied by authorities to the fatal shooting of a teenager were released from the Trumbull County Jail on Friday after posting bond money collected with the help of friends.
One of Karen Adams’ friends maintained that the woman was just protecting her family.
Handcuffed and wearing orange jail jumpsuits, Adams and Paul Sundy Jr., both of Stateline Road, were arraigned before Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
Adams, 29, is charged with fatally shooting Robert Flynn, 15, of Masury after he and three teen friends drove to the 1628 Stateline Road home owned by Sundy, 40, over an altercation involving Sundy’s teenage daughter.
The teens were reportedly outside a vehicle when Adams fired a .22-caliber gun, striking Flynn once in the head, police said. He was later pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown.
Adams is charged with one count of murder with a gun specification, three counts of felonious assault and one charge of tampering with evidence.
Sundy is charged with one count of obstructing justice and one count of tampering with evidence.
Both pleaded innocent.
Judge Logan set bond at $10,000 cash or surety for Sundy and $1 million cash for Adams.
But Adams’ bond was reduced to $100,000 cash or surety by Judge W. Wyatt McKay, who will preside over Adams’ case.
Both people posted bond — $7,000 for Adams and $700 for Sundy — and have pretrial hearings next week.
Amy Hanlon, a friend of the two, said friends and family worked diligently to obtain the bond money.
Atty. Anthony Antonucci, representing Adams and Sundy, said “surrounding circumstances” were the reason for the bond reduction.
Antonucci said Adams acted out of instinct.
“You’ve got to protect yourself,” he said. “If somebody comes in to [your] driveway — at 2:30 in the morning, by the way — what are you going to do?”
Hanlon said the teens were armed with baseball bats and tire irons and Adams acted out of fear to protect her family, including two children age 8 and 10.
“She was petrified that night,” Hanlon added. “All she saw was four teenagers coming at [her] with something in their hands. She was petrified. She was like a mama bear protecting her cubs.”
Why didn’t Adams didn’t call the police?
“She should probably have called the police, but when you’re in a panic like that, you don’t think,” Hanlon said. “All you are thinking is, ‘Oh my God, my babies are in that house.’ You see four — and at that time she didn’t know they were juveniles — all she saw was four men coming at her house.”
But according to a Hubbard Township police report, Adams gave officers the location of a second gun that was not used, instead of the weapon in question. Police recovered about a dozen guns from the home that belongs to Sundy, a hunter. Six brass shell casings were found in the grass and driveway area, the report said.
Many in the courtroom had expected a lesser bond amount for Adams and were shocked to hear the initial $1 million figure.
“The public pressure is putting everything on these people,” Antonucci said of Adams and Sundy. He said raising $1 million was “not within [Adams’] ability to do so.”
He suggested a reduced bond or house arrest, but was told by Judge Logan that he would have to address the issue in front of Judge McKay at Adams’ pretrial hearing Wednesday. Sundy will appear before Logan on Tuesday.
Chuck Morrow, assistant county prosecutor, said a $1 million figure is common with homicide cases.
“This case involves a homicide, the death of an individual,” he said. “The sentence [upon conviction] is a life sentence with parole eligibility after 15 years. In those kinds of situations, people are flight risks, and so in order to ensure their appearance, which a bond is meant to do, we requested a $1 million bond.”
Antonucci said bond was not to be used as a punishment but rather as assurance a party will attend all legal proceedings. He stated Adams was a lifelong resident and not a flight risk.