Campbell man free on bond after guilty plea in killing

By Peter H. Milliken


A Campbell man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in a March 12 homicide, and he will remain free on $250,000 bond with electronically monitored house arrest pending his sentencing.

Jerry Smith Sr., 54, of Tremble Avenue, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a firearm specification and tampering with evidence in the shooting death of Tyler Simpson, 20, of Dover Street, Warren, after an argument outside a Kimmel Street home on Youngstown’s East Side.

Smith entered his plea Wednesday before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, who will sentence him at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 17.

Smith was initially facing 18 years to life in prison on a murder charge with the gun specification, but he’s now facing six to 16 years in prison.

The murder charge said he killed purposely, but the involuntary manslaughter charge says he killed while committing felonious assault.

The evidence-tampering charge pertains to his removal of the gun used in the slaying from the shooting scene, said Rebecca Doherty, an assistant county prosecutor. That gun was never recovered, she added.

Simpson was shot once in the abdomen and once in the right side of the face.

Smith has no prior criminal record, said J. Gerald Ingram, defense lawyer.

The judge told Smith he’ll be on parole for five years after he leaves prison.

The evidence could have supported either the murder charge or the involuntary manslaughter charge, Doherty said. After reviewing the matter with witnesses, Doherty said she concluded reducing the charge was appropriate.

“The situation escalated, and, unfortunately, there was a gun involved. Had the defendant not had a gun with him, obviously, this could have been a fist fight and been over,” Doherty said.

“The victim had no weapon,” she added.

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