Charges changed in fatal shooting
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
Police changed the charges against a woman accused in the shooting death of a man over stolen electricity last week, and a man arrested in the death is in jail on a $1 million bond.
Michael Paige, 20, of Bennington Ave-nue, appeared for arraign-ment Monday before Judge Elizabeth Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court on an aggravated-murder charge.
Paige and Jasmin Fletcher, 21, of Lora Avenue, are charged in the shooting of Munir Blake, 31, also of Lora Avenue.
Fletcher had been charged with aggravated murder and placed in Mahoning County jail on a $1 million bond, but that charge was reduced to felony obstruction of justice Monday. Her bond has been reduced to $20,000.
Paige and Fletcher are cousins, said Fletcher’s father, Shawn Fletcher.
Police said Blake called police Wednesday to complain about Jasmin Fletcher stealing his electricity. Police came out to the Lora Avenue duplex and disconnected the illegal line the same day.
Fletcher, police said, then purchased another cord and was attempting to begin stealing Blake’s electricity again Thursday. When Blake confronted her, the shooting took place, police said.
According to prosecutors, Paige has given a full confession on videotape as to his role in Blake’s death. His confession led to the reduction in charges against Fletcher.
Shawn Fletcher said police have known about Paige’s involvement in the crime from the beginning and should have disclosed some of that information to save his daughter from harsh public scrutiny.
“The sad part about all this is that they [police] have really smeared our name,” he said. “I believe she should be given an apology for the way she has been portrayed. She has been painted as a monster, and that is not the case.”
Shawn Fletcher said he is happy his nephew came forward and told the truth about what took place at the duplex.
Paige has seen legal trouble and been the victim of past crimes both as a juvenile and an adult, including the victim of a shooting in 2009.
Court records show Paige as having been arrested for disorderly conduct when he was 12 and attending Youngstown schools. He was removed from a classroom for cursing a teacher and threatening to get a gun and killing the educator.
Police charged Paige again for disorderly conduct and assault on a teacher the following year when he was 13. In that case, he was accused of disruptive behavior and punching and spitting on a teacher.
When he was 17 in 2009, Paige also was listed as a suspect, along with several other juveniles, in the breaking and entering of a vacant house on Zents Avenue. In 2011, Paige was accused of smacking the mother of his child in the face and throwing the 21-year-old woman into a wall.
Paige also has been a crime victim.
According to police reports, Paige was assaulted by a man who held a steak knife to his neck when he was 15. He also was beaten and scratched by a 30-year-old woman during an argument when he was 16.
In 2009, Paige was shot once in the arm and grazed in the head by gunfire after arguing with two other male juveniles.