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Youngstown murder victim, suspects have lengthy crime backgrounds

Published: Fri, June 24, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.


Brandon Adkins

Chaney student belonged to street gang, reports say

BY John W. Goodwin Jr.



The 16-year-old boy killed on the city’s South Side last week and the two teens suspected of committing the murder have extensive criminal backgrounds, police records show.

Gang violence, fights, theft, burglary, shootings and drugs have been factors in the lives of the victim and the two youths police believe committed Saturday’s slaying.

Brandon Adkins, 16, of East Philadelphia Avenue, was shot outside a home on South Avenue. Police found him in the driveway of the house surrounded by a large crowd. The Mahoning County coroner, after an autopsy, said Adkins had been shot in the back and abdomen. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.

The police department’s Capt. Rod Foley said Adkins was shot by two people with two different guns. Police believe Rayshawn Marquise Royal, 17, and Deandre Maurice McCrary, 15, both of the South Side, are responsible for the shooting, each having fired a shot at Adkins. Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

Foley said the shooting took place after a fight earlier Saturday night at a party on Mistletoe Avenue. He said police do not believe the shooting was gang-related but said all three boys could be part of any one of the nearly 30 identified, but loosely knit, gangs operating throughout the city.

Various reports indicated Adkins was affiliated with the H-Block Gang, which operates on the South Side.

“A lot of this stuff is kids who grew up in a particular neighborhood, reach a certain age then identify themselves with a given group,” Foley said. “These kids often come from homes with not much supervision, and it sets them up for the rest of their lives.”

The teen shooting victim and those suspected of taking his life are no strangers to law enforcement.

Reports show Adkins and several other boys, also 16, were suspected of beating a teen and firing a shot at the boy in January because they believed the boy snitched on someone. The victim’s mother in that case told police Adkins and his friends were members of the H-Block Gang.

Adkins also was accused of forcefully entering a home on East Avondale Avenue last August in an attempt to fight a group of teens as well as multiple acts of domestic violence associated with his 43-year-old mother, Irene Adkins.

Irene Adkins, earlier this week, offered a word of prayer to the killers of her son.

“My son had the biggest heart. He was the most-giving person, and the heart of the family as well as the heart of this neighborhood,” she said.

Reports also show that windows in Adkins’ home were shot out in June 2010 after a group of teens came to the house and demanded Brandon come outside so they could kill him. The same group of teens had threatened to shoot the house one day before during an argument.

The Adkins’ East Philadelphia Avenue home this week had boards covering the front windows with visibly shattered glass beneath.

There are reports showing that Adkins was arrested for stealing then wrecking his mother’s car and was suspected of robbing another teen by snatching a $20 bill out of the teen’s hand outside a store and running off.

Adkins was implicated in assaulting another group of youths with a chair when he was 9 and assaulting another teen by biting the boy when he was 12. He also was arrested for having marijuana in school when he was 14.

McCrary, a suspect in the murder, has been a reported runaway twice in the last two years. He, with several other teens, was also implicated in a 2010 burglary on East Ravenwood Avenue.

The 17-year-old murder suspect, Royal, was implicated in a 2006 assault at Eagle Heights Academy, where reports allege he pushed another student into a wall and choked the boy. He was also implicated in a theft at a relative’s home in 2008 and an aggravated burglary on East LaClede Avenue in 2009 where items were taken from the home of Royal’s teen friend.

Royal was also the victim of a shooting in 2010 when he was shot twice in the leg while at an East Side housing project. He was reportedly uncooperative with officers, saying he did not know who shot him and did not provide much information.

Foley said the pattern of criminal behavior is familiar for these youths.

“They start off with burglaries and thefts, then escalate up to robberies. They eventually find that is not lucrative enough and graduate to drug sales,” he said.

Foley estimates that about half the burglaries committed in the city are committed by people under 21. He said those burglaries are oftentimes how teens acquire weapons such as the two guns used to shoot Adkins.

“They go into these houses, steal these guns, then buy, sell or trade them. That is how these kids are arming themselves out there,” said Foley. “Once the [stolen] gun is out there, it is out there until we find it.”

The city has had six homicides in 2011. Of the six victims, half have been under 21, and two have been under 18. The city recorded four murders of people under 21 in 2010.

Willena Newberry, an Ohio-certified prevention specialist with the Youngstown Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program, said many programs are available to prevent children from entering the world of crime and gang violence. Her group goes into schools with programs that offer teens an alternative to drugs, sex and violence.

Newberry said kids indicate their environment is a large factor in choosing criminal behavior. She said that is why the home environment is so critical.

“It all goes back to the parents. All we can do in the community is be firm mentors and encourage these kids,” she said. “We have to build relationships with these kids. When you build relationships they will respect you.”

Foley said parents could also help police out a great deal by knowing where there children are and what they are doing. He noted that the victim and suspects in last week’s shooting were all out past the city’s 11 p.m. curfew for juveniles.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

This gang banger achieved his destiny - death by gun!

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2Woodley(26 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The 2010 Census shows that there has been a substantial increase in one parent (female) households among Blacks. I am Black and I ask the question, where are the fathers and especially the husbands? I can't speak for the other races, but we have in some cases completely gotten away from God and live for lust and right now. Society gives away condoms like candy. Our young and not so young need to stop listening to their flesh and try God.Their parents need to be parents and not friends."train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart." This takes a husband and a wife not a missing babies daddy and a loose female who is a candidate for thew Maury Show.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"Youngstown murder victim, suspects have lengthy crime backgrounds"

There is no crime in the hood,only opportunity . These kids only see and know what they are taught . The hood consumes tax dollars with little or no return . Since they aren't productive and monthly government checks are spent quickly their income is supplemented by donors . Willing or unwilling it doesn't matter to them . They collect on the debts that society owes them .

Correcting the problems in the hood can only be done with generating jobs . Drug flows going into the hood can and should be stopped . Criminal activity should be countered with some pain . Probation is a joke .

Jobs originating in the hood would have the greatest effect on reducing crime . Plenty of vacant land exists on which to build . Government subsidies should be used to lure companies to build there . Auto parts ,furniture, household products, the possibilites are endless . Let's end the breeding ground for crime .

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4Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"The teen shooting victim and those suspected of taking his life are no strangers to law enforcement."

No big surprise there. And the sad part is no one will care and it'll be the same ole same ole the next day and beyond. When will they learn? It's to late when your six feet under. Is it really worth it? These parent(s) need to be held accountable for the actions of these wanna be gangstas.

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5fcb(452 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

It will never change.Jobs is not the answer. It starts with the parents. They teach the kids.Don't go to school if you don't want to. Take what you want from whom ever has it! But, when you do "Bring it home so I can have some of it and go out and get some more". The mother says "He had a big heart" and "was the heart of the neighborhood". Give me a break! He was a bully (or as I befer to call them cowards), He was a thief! He was a robber!. Good heart, yea right. He died the way he lived and there will be others just like him until the parents of these children change and do their duty to the children,community, and their self .

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Brandon Adkins was the product of his mothers upbringing . Jobs cut down on the 24/7 idle time that lead to crime . ..

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

mlisi39 :

"What debt are you talking about Stan?"

If yo haz ben down ta da hood yo wood no . . ..

Partial payments are being paid with welfare but far more is owed . The handout mentality is ingrained with the culture . Step into the hood and your dues will be extracted . . ..

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8Attis(1117 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

When kids grow up like weeds they will not blossom into flowers. The whole South Side, once a vibrant community of diverse two-parent families, has decayed into a vast weed patch. Single parents, no matter how hard they try, are not sufficient as gardeners. The area between Woodland and Midlothian has been abandoned by every major institution of our society, with the exception of organized crime, for decades. Uncle Sam is guilty of abandonment/neglect of his children in Youngstown. The crime in the streets is rooted in crimes of abuse/neglect in the suites. That's why nothing will be done about this American tragedy except for blaming the victims.

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9redvert(2231 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Great idea on the jobs Stan, so we approach some industries and tell them, "move to Ytown and hire a bunch of gang bangers, we will give you some tax breaks."They will just be beating our doors down to get here. Ya Buddy!!!

Does anyone actually believe that the gang bangers will actually want to get a real job? If these jobs were available, they would benefit the gang bangers by providing a new source of victims to rob.

Too bad the Mafia is not around as it was years ago. They would nicely inform the punks to straighten up one time and if not they would get a trip down the Mahoning river. And it wouldn't take that many to get the point across, maybe 10 or 20!

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10mrblue(1175 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

All three have criminal records. Is anyone surprised? When you live by the sword (gun), you die by the sword (gun). Kids killing kids. Will it ever stop? They have no fear of the law in this valley. Justice is not swift or harsh enough to deter their crimes. And another thing---------too many government handouts that make some feel that they are owed something. They feel that as long as the government is taking care of them------why should they work.

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11AnotherAverageCitizen(1183 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

""That's why nothing will be done about this American tragedy except for blaming the victims.""

Don't blame the victims, I agree with you. We need to blame the criminals and put them in lockup. Unfortunately many times the criminals still end up being a victim.

If one has a record of theft, robbery, domestic violence, breaking and entering, I don't see how that person is A VICTIM.

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12Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

When I was a child my grandmother lived on Auburndale - now home to the Dale Boys gang. It was a beautiful, well-kept neighborhood. The house where Warren P Williamson began WKBN was nearby. I drove down that street recently and it looks like a war zone. There is no pride in property because most of the people who live there don't own it. Babies are having babies - there is no respect for human life - people are dispensible. The welfare system was never meant to sustain generation after generation - but for many families it is not just a resource - a way to get back on your feet. It is the way entire families survive. However, unless change is made quickly - urban areas will continue to decline and those who can will get out and seek better lives for themselves and their families.

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

dimebag :

"How 'bout building some sterilization clinics ?"

Mass riots would result as the hood would not not stand still for it .

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14borylie(946 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

You're right,welfare wasn't meant to keep people dependent on government(taxpayers) to survive. But in my opinion the democrats in order to expand their voter base have to make more people dependent on government.

Then leaders like Jesse Jackson enriches himself,aligns himself with the democrats and helps keep poor people poor.

What has to change is people wanting to take care of themselves and their children,not looking to have babies and knowing someone will take care of them.

Pride and some straight talk from their leaders. No blame game.

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15Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


You need to quit with the EXCUSES because that is all it is, EXCUSES. Are you not sick and tired of blaming everyone and everything? What ever happened to being responsible for your own actions. If a mother can't handle her wanna be gangsta then she should have NEVER had a kid or two or three. Quit blaming others....people need to own up and be held accountable.

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16nikasymone(7 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Lifestooshort I agree with you, unfortunately these children never asked to come here so they shouldn't be the direct blame for their actions but should be punished none-the-less for their bad choices. What I do think should happen, and this is just my opinion, is that once it is obvious that some of these women who aren't taking care of the children they have should not be allowed to keep having them. Only question is how can it effectively be done?

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17taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Attis, That offends normal people, like me, when you state that single parents are not "sufficient gardeners". I am a single parent and my two daughters are doing fabulous. One graduated college as a science major, has always worked two jobs even when not needed for the $ and is getting married next year, she is 24. They just bought a house and they have no kids yet! they both see that it needs to wait until they are married. My other 16 yr old is an honor studen, track star and also works. Neither of them have been in trouble. And no, I don't live in Canf, Board, etc so you can't say they have a charmed life. I have always worked hard to keep them in good schools and have not collected welfare. I taught them respect for themselves and for others. So maybe the problem is more they way the single parents live and teach their kids in Yo., but it is possible to raise children well as a single parent.

And by the way, it's not all Uncle Sam's fault either that these people live the way they do

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