CHRONOLOGY | When children get caught in the crossfire Since 1996, a total of 10 unborn children and children under 12 have been killed due to gunplay in the Mahoning Valley, nine in Youngstown. A
June 11, 1996: Jessica Ballew, 3, killed on the front porch of an Oak Park home on the Youngstown’s North Side. Police said the shooting was gang-related. Her killer, Sidney Cornwell, was sentenced to death, but Gov. Ted Strickland spared his life in 2010, granting Cornwell clemency a few months before leaving office. The governor said Cornwell suffered from a rare, genetic disorder, information not available at the time the death sentence was imposed.
Nov. 8, 1998: DeShun Moreland-Aziz, 4, and his mother, LaShawnda Aziz, 21, of Lansdowne Boulevard on the East Side were victims of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Ms. Aziz’s unborn fetus also died in the shooting. Her 3-year-old daughter was wounded once in the back. Police say robbery was the motive. Kevin Calwise and Anthony Anderson are each serving three consecutive life sentences after their convictions on three counts of aggravated murder and one count each of attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.
Nov. 16, 1998: Luis Cruz, 4, of Dupont Avenue, shot in the head while lying on the bed of his Youngtown Metropolitan Housing Authority apartment in the Brier Hill Annex on the North Side. Police say gunmen fired at the building looking for another resident who wasn’t there. The bullet went through two walls before striking the child. Lamar McGary, 19, and his brother, Charles Edwards, 17, both of Frederick Avenue, Liberty, were charged with murder Nov. 19. Christopher Hill, 17, of Norwood Avenue, and Fernando Lampkins, 15, of Stansbury Drive, were charged with complicity to murder Nov. 19. McGary and Edwards pleaded to reduced charges of involuntary manslaughter, and each was sentenced to eight years in prison. Hill accepted a similar deal, pleading guilty to complicity to commit manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Lampkins was tried in juvenile court and admitted to complicity to involuntary manslaughter, agreed to testify against others, and was ordered to spend five years in juvenile detention.
March 24, 2003: Jiyen C. Dent Jr., 3 months, shot once in the head in a drive-by shooting. He was in a baby swing in his Rutledge Drive home on the East Side. Eleven rounds from an assault rifle and several more from a 9 mm handgun were fired from across the street into Jiyen’s parents’ home and an adjacent house. John Drummond, now 35, was convicted of aggravated murder and given the death penalty. A federal judge overturned Drummond’s conviction and death sentence and ordered a new trial. The Ohio Attorney General’s office has appealed that ruling to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
May 5, 2007: Cherish M. Moreland, 3, of Hilton Avenue was the victim of a drive-by shooting. She was shot in the head outside a Stewart Ave home on the East Side. Damon K. Clark Jr., now 27, was convicted of complicity to murder with a gun specification, and of complicity to discharging a firearm at or into a habitation and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Stoney Williams, the shooter, now 23, was convicted of aggravated murder, firing a gun from a motor vehicle and firing a gun at or into a house. He was sentenced to 28 years to life.
July 31, 2007: Helen Moore, 29, of Cassius Street and her unborn fetus died in 70 block of Center Street on East Side around 1 p.m. She was shot in the neck and flipped her car. Her 8-year-old son and passenger, Ceonei Moore, was shot in head. Ceonei was brain dead and officially declared dead Aug. 1. Ex-boyfriend and father of the unborn baby, Curtis Young, now 29, of Center Street, was convicted in May 2009 on three counts of aggravated murder and was sentenced to three consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
April 21, 2009: Lloyd McCoy, 11, of Wick Street Southeast, Warren. Police said Eugene Henderson and Eugene Cumberbatch fired guns into the house to gain revenge on Marvin Chaney for allegedly stealing $3,000 from Henderson. Chaney was staying at the house on Wick Street with his girlfriend, Brittnay McCoy. Brittnay McCoy’s brother, Lloyd McCoy Jr., was visiting her the night of the shooting and later died from gunshot wounds. Chaney died at the scene. The 11th District Court of Appeals in February 2012 upheld the murder convictions of Henderson, 28, of Warren, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2010. The appeals court earlier upheld the convictions of Eugene Cumberbatch, 29, another Warren man who participated in the killings. Cumberbatch was sentenced to 38 years to life in prison.
Aug. 20, 2012: Bryce Linebaugh, 8, of Maplewood Court in Rockford Village housing development on the East Side, shot in the head while he slept from gunplay outside his home. Shawn Ramone Wilson, 21, of Youngstown, is charged with aggravated murder.
Source: Vindicator files