Threats alleged in Adkins murder

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Brandon Adkins


By John W. Goodwin Jr.


The mother of a witness to the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy on the city’s South Side last week told police she is concerned about threats made against her child’s life.

The woman’s daughter and two other people are listed as witnesses in the death of Brandon Adkins, 16, of East Philadelphia Avenue. Police found him in the driveway of the house Saturday night surrounded by a large crowd. Adkins had been shot in the back and abdomen by two people carrying two guns, police said.

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. They remain at large.

The 38-year-old woman filed a report with Youngstown police Thursday after learning of the alleged threat from her 17-year-old son. The teen told his mother he heard the threats made by the two teens wanted in the murder via cellphone.

According to police reports, the boy told his mother he was with a friend using the “speaker phone” on a cellphone when he heard McCrary and Royal say they “have a hit out” on the woman’s daughter and two other witnesses in the case.

They also allegedly were attempting to get another female to fight the witnesses.

Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said the department takes threats against witnesses seriously.

“We do offer protection, and we do protect our witnesses in this case and in all cases,” the chief said.

Hughes again encouraged the two teens to surrender to police. He said they eventually will be captured, and additional charges, such as those related to intimidating a witness, likely could be added to the murder charge they already face.

“It’s against the law to threaten or intimidate any witness, and we will pursue those charges in conjunction with any other existing charges,” he said. “I assure you if threats or intimidation are going on, we will pursue that.”

Police records show the two teens suspected of Adkins’ murder and making the threats against the witnesses are no strangers to criminal activity.

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

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

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