By Ed Runyan
Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has called the shooting death by three Niles police officers of a burglary suspect at a house on Old Forge Road on April 16 “a classic example of justifiable homicide.”
In a press release, Watkins said there would be no criminal charges filed against the three officers and no presentment of charges to a Trumbull County grand jury, “as the only possible crimes involved were committed by the deceased.”
Three officers fired their weapons at Daryl A. Boggs, 49, of Niles, hitting him three times, killing him, after Boggs fired a handgun at officer Dan Myers in the back yard of the home at 1773 Old Forge.
The bullet missed Myers and struck the home at 116 Moreland Road, immediately behind the Old Forge residence.
Officers were dispatched to the Old Forge residence when an alert next-door neighbor saw Boggs walking up the driveway to the home and knew that the owners were away.
When officers arrived, they surrounded the rear of the house, which has an in-ground pool and a fence, Watkins said. Boggs came out of the rear of the home with a gun, later determined to have been taken from the Old Forge residence, in his hand.
“Officers repeatedly and loudly ordered the suspect to drop the handgun and get on the ground. These commands were clearly heard by neighbors, officers in the front of the house and are clearly heard on the audio portion of the [audio-video recorders] that were used by Niles police,” Watkins said.
“Despite repeated, loud and clear commands to drop the weapon, the suspect continued to walk towards the back of the fenced-in area where a gate was located. As the suspect approached the gate in the back of the fence where Officer Myers was located, the suspect in complete and total defiance of the officer’s commands raised the gun and fired one shot in the direction of Officer Myers,” Watkins said.
“The three officers who were in the rear of the house and surrounding the fence around the swimming pool returned fire. The suspect was shot three times and suffered four gunshot wounds due to the fact that one bullet went in and out and in and out a second time,” Watkins continued.
In addition to Myers, the other officers involved were Capt. Mark Thou and officer Thomas Townley.
Boggs had an extensive criminal record, including a conviction in Mahoning County in a 1981 case for aggravated burglary, six months in prison for escape in a 1995 case in Trumbull County, eight months in prison on a 1995 Trumbull County case for receiving stolen property, and 30 months in federal prison on a 2004 conviction for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.
Tests on Boggs’ body revealed it contained alcohol, cocaine and Tramadol (a pain medication) at the time of his death, Watkins said.
The investigation determined that Boggs entered the house around 9:45 p.m. by breaking into a back porch by pushing in a window air conditioner, then breaking the window of the rear door leading to the interior of the home. In the couple of minutes before police arrived, Boggs had ransacked the house, taking the gun and ammunition, Watkins said.