Jasmin Fletcher, 21, arraigned in killing over electricity theft
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
Authorities say Jasmin Fletcher first stole from her neighbor, then pulled out a gun and shot him when he protested a second theft attempt.
Fletcher, 21, likely will be spending a long time in the Mahoning County jail on a $1 million bond.
Police have accused Fletcher of fatally shooting Munir Blake, 31, both of the 200 block of Lora Avenue, after he tried to cut the power cord she was using to steal electrical service from his home. The two lived in a North Side duplex.
Police said another man in the house at the time of the shooting has been questioned and may face charges at a later date.
Fletcher spent a short time hiding from police after the Thursday evening shooting, but Lt. John Kelty said police ultimately convinced her that it would be in her best interest to surrender to authorities.
“We had to track her down. ... Her father drove her down here,” he said.
Fletcher appeared for arraignment Friday before Magistrate Anthony Sertick of Youngstown Municipal Court. The magistrate ordered her to jail on the $1 million bond.
John Marsh, an assistant city prosecutor, told the court Fletcher has prior convictions for attempted burglary and robbery.
The only reports that appear in police files for Fletcher are a juvenile runaway report in 2008 and a report that, as a juvenile, she threatened another juvenile via phone.
Fletcher was given a court-appointed attorney after telling the court she earns $10 per hour and has a dependant daughter.
Kelty said Blake, whom he described as a “legit stand-up guy,” called the police Wednesday to complain about Fletcher stealing his electrical service. Police came out to the Lora Avenue duplex and disconnected the illegal line Wednesday.
Kelty said Fletcher purchased another cord and was attempting to begin stealing Blake’s electricity again Thursday. According to police, Blake heard Fletcher attempting to steal the electricity and confronted her. That is when the shooting took place.
“If someone is stealing from you, I would expect anyone would want to confront the person, but you don’t expect this mentality that I will pull out a gun and shoot you for it,” Kelty said.
Members of Blake’s family could not be reached for comment Friday.
Members of Fletcher’s family were present in municipal court for her arraignment, but refused to speak with reporters. There were also people moving furniture out of Fletcher’s apartment Friday morning. They also refused to speak with The Vindicator.
Blake is the sixth homicide victim this year. At this time last year, the city had recorded two homicides. The sixth homicide of 2011 in Youngstown was recorded June 18.