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Death penalty sought in killing of Bryce Linebaugh, 8; Gains hopes case serves as a deterrent

Published: Fri, August 31, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said he hopes the death-penalty indictment handed up against a 21-year-old city man charged with the murder of an 8-year-old boy serves as a deterrent to others who consider shooting into occupied homes.

A Mahoning County grand jury handed up an indictment Thursday against Shawn R. Wilson of Browning Avenue on charges of aggravated murder of a child under 13, felonious assault, murder, tampering with evidence and improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation.

There are firearm specifications attached to the charges of murder and discharging a firearm into a habitation, which can carry up to an additional three years in prison on each count.

Bryce Linebaugh was killed in the early hours of Aug. 20 as he slept in a bunk bed at his Maplewood Court home in Rockford Village on the city’s East Side.

If convicted of aggravated murder, Wilson could be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Gains said the case should serve as a warning to others.

“I can only pray that young people learn to control their anger. They have to realize that you just have to walk away,” he said. “We prosecute these offenses and will continue to do that.”

Gains said the felonious-assault charge stems from a 4-year-old boy’s being hit by flying glass as he was sleeping in the same room as Bryce.

The tampering-with-evidence charge stems from Wilson’s attempt to hide weapons used in the crime, Gains said.

Prosecutors said an individual was seen leaving Wilson’s residence carrying what appeared to be firearms. Police recovered an assault rifle that is believed to be the murder weapon in a wooded area next to Wilson’s Browning Avenue residence shortly after the shooting.

That assault rifle, along with other evidence, will be sent to the state crime lab for analysis.

Gains said the investigation into the case shows that Wilson had been involved in an altercation with a resident at a home adjacent to Bryce’s residence.

Wilson returned to the area, armed with an assault rifle after the initial altercation, and fired multiple shots into Bryce’s home while seated in his car, prosecutors said. Slugs hit the boy in the head.

Wilson had been convicted of improperly handling a firearm in 2009. Earlier this year, he was charged with violating his probation in that case.


1southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I still think the death penalty is too good for this thug...make him suffer behind bars for life..and I mean in lock down for 23 hours a day...that would be "hard time"

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

"Gains said the case should serve as a warning to others."

Sad, but it won't. These young wanna be gangstas have one thing in mind, THEMSELVES. They could care less about any other human beings. They kill because there nothing but cowards that prey on innocent folks. If they didn't roam in a pack or have a gun then they would be nothing. Cowards behind a gun. Pitiful DNA.

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3kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

You think the death penalty ISN'T a deterrent to crime??? I don't care what the stats say. When they start applying it correctly it WILL be a deterrent. Every time a thug (or thugette) commits a felony one with a death penalty spec hang them slowly in the public square. Anyone think this is barbaric? Shooting an innocent child is barbaric. Shooting an elderly woman in a church parking lot is barbaric. Send a message. It's time the liberals start feeling the rage of victims' families. Prison with phone and basketball priveleges isn't what I call hard time.

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4UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

The most effective deterrent is the fact that the residents of the community actually stood up and named the perpetrator...maybe this is a sign of a new trend!

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5whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I like the Public Hanging better, throw rotten vegetables and fruit.
Let him stand there with the rope around his neck all day.
Maybe staple his eye lids to his forehead so he can really see whats comming.

Sell popcorn, make it a social event for the whole city to see.

Whoever is in jail at the time can hand out the vegetables and get a first hand look,at what happens to murderers then the Jail birds can clean the mess up.

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6Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I like whitesabbaths idea.

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7hotcoffee42(2 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Anyone that looks at the statistics, and is really interested in the death penalty knows that it doesnt deter crime. read about it. study it. Nope, it just doesnt work that way.Dont get mad and attack me now because I didnt write what you wanted. go read,then read some more. Killing people because they kill people just doesnt make any sense, now does it?

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8whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey hotcoffee, check out crime rate when there was PUBLIC hanging, not hiding behind closed doors.

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9kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Give these thugs one appeal, that's it. Then if their appeal is denied it's the public square the next day. I don't want my tax dollars paying for their jailhouse entertainment. (But I will pay for the rope).
BTW- stats can be manipulated, we've seen this time and time again. You can be book smart but have no common sense as we've seen time and time again on this forum.

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10Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago


"Killing people because they kill people just doesnt make any sense, now does it?"

Makes all the sense in the world. Just wish it wouldn't take so long to put these MURDERERS six feet under.
And coffee, if it was one of your family members or loved ones that a useless filthy cockroach killed would you say the same?

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