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Pathologist: Sutera died of gunshot to the chest

Published: Sat, February 11, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.


By Elise Franco



The shot that killed Stacey Sutera was fired from a shotgun, says the doctor who performed her autopsy.

Dr. Joseph Ohr, forensic pathologist and deputy Mahoning County coroner, said Friday that Sutera died of a gunshot wound to the chest. She had been a teacher at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.

The weapon had been loaded with a rifled slug, a large bullet used in deer hunting.

“There’s no question in my mind that the devastating shotgun wound to her chest killed her,” he said. “She died immediately.”

Dr. Ohr said Sutera also was shot in the shoulder with a small-caliber handgun. He said there’s no way of determining which shot was fired first.

Sutera, 40, of Canfield, was killed outside her condo at Carriage Hill Apartments on Wednesday morning by Robert P. McLaughlin, 64, of Painesville, according to police.

Police believe McLaughlin shot Sutera as she was getting into her car. She was shot multiple times, apparently tried to drive away, and was shot again.

McLaughlin shot and killed himself Thursday afternoon at the gravesite of his mother at Alexander Harper Memorial Cemetery in Unionville Township, Ashtabula County.

McLaughlin was prosecuted in both Mahoning County Area Court in Canfield in 2010 and in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in 2011. He was convicted of stalking and harassing Sutera over the course of about nine months in 2010.

She had feared for her life and that of her daughter, and her dog had been killed.

McLaughlin was sentenced Dec. 17, 2010, to six months in Mahoning County jail after pleading guilty in Canfield court to misdemeanor charges of menacing by stalking.

He also was indicted on felony charges by a county grand jury in January 2011 and pleaded guilty in 2011 to three counts of pandering obscenity and three counts of possessing criminal tools.

He was sentenced Nov. 29, 2011, to five years’ probation and 500 hours of community service and fined $2,500. Judge Maureen A. Sweeney also ordered McLaughlin to take anger-management classes, not possess firearms and have no contact with Sutera.


1SickofJimbo(140 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Sweeney. Boy you should be ashamed

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2fcb(463 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

And Judge Sweeney slept in a warm bed last night. Citizens of Youngstown should rise up and get down to that courthouse and let her know what she is doing is wrong!!

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3steelwagon(284 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

"Turn em lose Sweeney" strikes again !!!
She had to know this sob was dangerous and a serious threat given the charges filed on him and his past record.

Probation,her order for him not to own firearms and community service didn't protect his victim but a long jail sentence sure would have.

You have to wonder how the judge sleeps at night or if she feels any remorse or responsibility for her actions or lack of them.

She reminds me of that judge in the auto insurance commercial.
Any lame excuse...
"That's good enough for me"

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4kensgirl(1064 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Is Judge Sweeney going to this woman's funeral?????

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5Attis(1134 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

This murderous monster shot and killed this poor terrorized woman like an animal and then went to his mother's grave to commit suicide. A mama's boy at 64! Classic misogynist who must have tormented countless women in his cursed life. Abolish misogyny!

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6endthismess(464 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Alrighty then Ms. Sweeney, about your title of judge. Now... do you seriously feel that you deserve and should continue to retain this title, which was a vote of confidence bestowed upon you by the citizens of this Valley? Your professional ability to "judge" has become markedly impaired as has been indicated by the very unnecessary death of this poor victim, whose death you now have greatly contribued to. And all of this appears to be a direct result of your feeble, fumbling, eroded, poor interpretation of the law and how to protect people. Once again, STEP DOWN. We, the citizens of this Valley, cannot trust you ANYMORE. We have no respect for you or your stinking lousy "judgement" skills. God help anyone who is another victim and they end up in front of this "sorta wanna be", who still calls herself a judge. Do ya even get it? We are sick of you. Just GO.

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7block50(128 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Where are all the racist commenters out there who are so quick with their snide remarks when the violence is 'black on black'? This gruesome tragedy shows no one is immune from senseless violence, no matter their color or background.

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8kensgirl(1064 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

block50 - Anyone who is an innocent victim has the people's sympathy. People don't care what color, nationality or religion a person is if they are a victim. I don't dislike ANYONE based on where they live or what high school they went to. We've had way too much venom spewed on those subject as it is. A person is supposed to be judged by their character. Please don't lump all white people into one category. There are haters out there true, but that's their problem. The only people I hate are thugs who kill innocent people in church parking lots and the people who defend them. If this crime happened to a black woman most people would STILL be enraged. The system failed this woman. No one else can be blamed but Judge Sweeney. The police do the arresting as is their job. The county prosecutor presents the evidence to the judge. The ball is now in her court. God bless this victim's innocent soul and all the souls who die needless deaths.

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9endthismess(464 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

block50....so..what does your racial profiling "black on black" tacky comment mean? Who even brought up a color issue here?? Really...stop trying to "spin" a color problem where there is clearly none by stirring up something. You are most insulting towards this victim's unnecessary death. You've parked yourself at the wrong bus stop hoping for feedback. So, here's your feedback. You need to drag your "paper podium" down a few blocks to another forum and try, try again.

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10endthismess(464 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

tonne, I agree. You are very correct. We get what we vote for. Once again people, VOTE SWEENEY ....OUT, if she runs again.

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112muchtax(897 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Sweeney you cannot judge, you are to soft hearted for the job, do the area a favor and step down! From the posts lots of people think you cannot do this job correctly. We need another judge like Scott k

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12IPFREELY(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


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13webad(156 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

The following question does not mean that I'm sticking up for Sweeney. I don't know anything about this judge. Do any posters here know what penalty Ohio law allows a judge to impose for the crimes that this murderer committed prior to the killing? Can it be safely assumed that no poster here is stupid enough to offer an opinion, about the correctness of the imposed sentences, if said posters know nothing about what punishments Ohio law prescribes for the crimes McLaughlin previously committed upon poor Stacey Sutera?

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14disgustedjoker(49 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

webad, look it up. Didnt he plead guilty to 5 or 6 felonies? With that being said, the lowest level felony is subject to a maximum of 1 year in jail. He should have atleast spent a few years behind bars, not released on probation! Also, isnt it the Prosecutor who actually recommends the sentence? Not sticking up for Sweeney either but the blame cant be placed all on her!

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15webad(156 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

@ disgustedjoker, I live in another state. I thought it convenient to ask an Ohioan about the penalty prescribed by Ohio law. I appreciate the info.

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