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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.

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