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Four charged in death of man

Published: Fri, March 9, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report


Three men and a juvenile have been arrested on charges related to the death of a man who overdosed on drugs last month, but one of the men has since had the charges dismissed.

Robert J. Tovarnak, 43, of East Midlothian Boulevard, was arraigned Thursday in Youngstown Municipal Court on charges of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He was arrested at the corner of Hilton and Market streets about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Tovarnak was not named in warrants issued last week relating to the death of 47-year-old William Lewis, who was found in a car on Griselda Avenue on Feb. 24.

Warrants issued last week charged Roberto Vega, 31, of Pearl Street and David L. Jenkins, 42, of East Ravenwood Avenue, with felony abuse of a corpse and felony tampering with evidence.

A 17-year-old city male also has been charged, and his case is proceeding through juvenile court, police said.

The charges against Vega were dismissed Tuesday at the request of Youngstown city prosecutors, according to court records. Jenkins had his initial court appearance in Youngstown Municipal Court on Wednesday and will be back Wednesday for a preliminary hearing in front of Judge Elizabeth Kobly.

Jenkins, Tovarnak and the teen are accused of having “treated a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities,” according to police records.

Specifically, police said they think the three individuals had a role in injecting Lewis’ body with a saltwater solution, pouring cleaning fluid in his mouth and taking about $400 from him Feb. 21.

Lewis was then left on Griselda Avenue on the city’s South Side where he was discovered three days later, police said.

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