By Ed Runyan
The children in the house were about to leave when the shooting started, a witness said.
WARREN — Eugene Henderson had a “beef” with Marvin Chaney over $3,000.
Brittnay McCoy said she learned of it from a cousin in late March, and she kept her children and other loved ones away from the house she shared with Chaney at 2290 Wick St. S.E. for a couple of weeks because the possibility of violence could ensue.
Brittnay McCoy was at her home most of the day April 13, and Chaney arrived at about 9:15 p.m.
About 9:30 p.m., Brittnay’s children, ages 3 and 6, her little brother, Lloyd McCoy Jr., 11, and her sister, Chelise McCoy, 17, came over to her house from Brittnay’s mother’s house across the street. At 9:50 p.m., the children and Chelise McCoy were just preparing to go back across the street when gunfire erupted.
At 9:15 p.m., Eugene Henderson left his home on Pearl Street Southwest with Eugene Cumberbatch and Marcus Yager. At 9:50 p.m., Henderson drove past the house at 2290 Wick, turned around and stopped in front of the house.
Henderson, wearing sunglasses, got out of the car, handed his cell phone to Cumberbatch, and fired a high-powered rifle at the house dozens of times, police said.
Cumberbatch, who dropped the cell phone on the ground, fired a handgun two times before throwing it into the back seat of the car, saying it had jammed, testimony showed.
These and other details emerged during a preliminary hearing Monday in Warren Municipal Court for Henderson and Cumberbatch.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Thomas Gysegem ruled the state had presented sufficient evidence to bind over murder charges against the two men to a Trumbull County grand jury.
The testimony gave a look at the evidence the Warren Police Department and prosecutors will use to try to prove that Henderson and Cumberbatch committed murder and that Yager committed complicity to murder.
The shooting killed Chaney, 26, almost immediately, and mortally wounded Lloyd Jr., who died April 21 in St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Among the evidence presented Monday was a tape-recorded interview with Yager, 26, of Vine Avenue Northeast, on April 22, in which Yager said the men never meant to hurt children. They didn’t like Chaney, but they thought no children would be in the home, Yager said.
Yager told police he didn’t know where the “K” [AK-47-type rifle] ended up after the men left the house, but he didn’t fire a gun and lay down on the floor in the back of the car while the shooting was going on.
Yager said he spent some time with Henderson, 25, of Lane Drive Southwest and Cumberbatch, 26, of Front Street Southwest earlier April 13, and the men didn’t seem agitated at that time.
Detective Wayne Mackey of the Warren Police Department later testified that among the items found on the street on Wick Street were more than 20 shell casings from a high-powered rifle, a cell phone and sunglasses.
None of the lab results from the items have been returned to police, Mackey said, so it is not known who is the owner of the phone or whether DNA evidence is present on the items.
Mackey, in cross-examination by Atty. John Fowler, who represents Henderson, said police did not recover any weapons.
Mackey revealed that a 23-year-old woman first told police April 21 — the day Lloyd Jr. died — who the three people were who committed the crime. Yager was arrested the same day and gave his taped interview to police the next day, Mackey said.
Arrest warrants were issued for Henderson and Cumberbatch on April 23, and they were both in custody by April 24.
Brittnay McCoy testified a 24-year-old cousin had told her on March 27 that he wanted to know where Chaney was.
“Your dude just licked me for three stacks last night,” Brittnay recalled her cousin saying. That meant Chaney had stolen $3,000 from him.
Later that same day, her cousin returned with Cumberbatch, Henderson, whom Chaney knew, and a third man she didn’t know, Brittnay McCoy said.
In the days that followed, Brittnay asked Chaney if he robbed her cousin, and Chaney said he had robbed Henderson, she testified.
Brittnay said her cousin, warning her that there might be trouble, promised to notify her “before anything goes down.”
On the night of the shootings, Lloyd Jr. was on the couch in a living room in the front of the house with the 3-year-old and 6-year-old on either side of him, Brittnay said.
Chaney and Brittnay were in the kitchen area, and Chalise was about to open the front door, when the first gunshot is heard, followed by two more, Brittnay said.
Everyone fled to the back of the house as bullets flew.
It was obvious Chaney was seriously injured, but Lloyd Jr. was talking and appeared to be only grazed, she said, but she saw blood in his mouth and thought otherwise.
Later it was learned that Lloyd had suffered a pierced lung, she said.
She learned later that her 3-year-old son also had suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He has recovered.