Asthma attack delays trial
Darold Shorter, 41, was arraigned Friday morning for the killing of Lamont Brown, 33. He was already in jail on an unrelated criminal charge when the arrest warrant was issued.
The victim was found stabbed to death in his home on Earle Avenue on Jan. 28.
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
A Mahoning County assistant prosecutor said Darold Shorter deliberately stabbed to death a 33-year-old city man early last year.
Court proceedings in the case against Shorter, 42, of West Earle Avenue, were put on hold Monday when he suffered an asthma attack in the court. The jury of eight women and four men reconvened Tuesday for opening statements in the case.
Shorter is on trial for the Jan. 28, 2010, murder of Lamont Brown, who was found stabbed multiple times in his West Earle home.
The trial is being heard in the courtroom of Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Rebecca Doherty, an assistant county prosecutor, told jurors the mother of Brown’s child went to his home Jan. 28 and found the door unlocked and Brown covered in blood lying on a floor inside the house.
Doherty said police spoke to everyone in the neighborhood, including Shorter’s wife, who at first said her husband was home sleeping when the killing took place. The woman, Doherty said, later told police she lied and her husband was not home at the time of the murder.
Doherty said Shorter ultimately admitted stabbing Brown “a couple of times” during an argument over money.
She said Brown claims the dispute was over a drug venture, but the state disputes that assertion. Doherty said the state also disputes Shorter’s claim that he stabbed Brown a couple of times. It was determined that Brown had been stabbed 35 times in the back, stomach, neck and face.
“This was not a struggle. There were no defensive wounds. This was not a struggle, it was an attack. ...This was a purposeful killing,” Doherty told the panel of jurors.
Atty. Douglas King, representing Shorter, told the jurors there is no disputing his client caused Brown’s death, but he said it was not murder, it was an act committed in a fit of rage and more deserving of a manslaughter charge instead of murder.
“Darold Shorter did not murder Lamont Brown. What Darold Shorter did he did while he was in a sudden fit of rage. The rage Darold Shorter had was over money,” King said. “It was not his purpose ever to kill Lamont Brown.”
King said Shorter became enraged at Brown because he had a wife and small child to feed and had no money. He said Shorter had been depending on help from others, including Brown, and became enraged and lost control when he did not get money Brown owed him.