By John W. GOODWIN JR.
As an indictment was filed against two suspects in the drive-by murder of Thomas Repchic and the wounding of his wife, police said they’re aware of threats against the mother of one of the suspects and are working to keep her and her family safe.
Stephanie Agee, 49, mother of 25-year-old murder suspect Kevin Agee, filed a report about the threats Monday with Youngstown police. She told police in the report she has been told that there is a “hit” out on her, and she has seen Internet threats about burning her house down.
Stephanie Agee also told police her house has what appears to be fresh bullet holes in the walls.
Kevin Agee is charged in the murder and wounding two weeks ago on the South Side. A Mahoning County grand jury Thursday returned an indictment against Agee and alleged accomplice 29-year-old Aubrey Toney of Youngstown on charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder and felonious assault with gun specifications.
Kevin Agee is in Mahoning County jail on a $3 million bond. Police are still hunting for Toney.
If convicted, both men face the death penalty.
County Prosecutor Paul Gains said Toney and Agee are facing the death penalty because they purposely killed or attempted to kill two or more people. If convicted of aggravated murder with specifications, Toney and Agee also could face prison sentences with possible parole after serving 25 years.
Capt. Rod Foley said the police department is aware of the threats made against Stephanie Agee and will address them. Foley would not say what course of action the department will take, but said a definite plan is in place.
“We have communicated with her and will put out extra patrols and that sort of thing to make sure everything works out for the best,” Foley said.
Stephanie Agee said she believes some of the threats stem from a mistaken belief by some people that she turned her son in to police. She said the accusations are absolutely false, and she had nothing to do with her son’s arrest or any information supplied to police.
Stephanie Agee and other family members, on the advice of attorneys, would not comment on the matter any further.
Foley said Stephanie Agee and other members of her family had nothing to do with the arrest of her son or any of his alleged crimes.
Repchic, 74, was gunned down around 1 p.m. Sept. 25 when he and his wife, also 74, were driving on Southern Boulevard near Philadelphia Avenue after having left St. Dominic Church.
Jacqueline Repchic was shot in her leg and taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Police believe the shooting was a case of mistaken identity in a feud between two rival factions. Police say Toney and Agee saw the older-model burgundy Cadillac Thomas Repchic was driving and believed the car was that of the person with whom they had been feuding.
Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said officers have located the person Toney and Agee had been gunning for the day Repchic was killed.
“We have identified the car, and it does look identical to Mr. Repchic’s car,” the chief said.
According to Hughes, there may have been activity between Agee, Toney and the owner of the car that led to the mistaken identity, but no one associated with that vehicle is under arrest or facing any charges.
Gains expressed frustration over the recent violent crimes in the city, saying the Repchic murder and the recent murder of Vivian D. Martin, a real-estate agent here, were senseless crimes.
“I am angry about all of these crimes. These two crimes were just ridiculous. We have a generation of individuals who refuse to take responsibility for their actions or acknowledge that those consequences exist,” the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor also called on the community to come forward with any information concerning Toney’s whereabouts. He said anyone can call the police department or Crime Stoppers with information.
“He will eventually be apprehended and face justice. It is better that he turn himself in,” Gains said. “I love this community, and I hate to see what these random acts of violence have done to this community. If you engage in this criminal behavior, there are consequences for it.”