Probe continues in shooting deathsPublished: 5/17/12 @ 12:04
Police still haven’t determined why a 20-year-old man and his 17-year-old girlfriend were gunned down on the city’s South Side, and they are asking for the public’s help to solve the crime.
Police found Juanetta Franklin and Pako Lacey, both of Youngstown, shot to death Tuesday afternoon in the upstairs apartment at a duplex at 240 E. Avondale Ave.
Detective Sgt. John Perdue said Wednesday police have received few calls from the public concerning the shooting. He said the department is asking anyone with information to make a confidential call to the department’s detective division or Crime Stoppers of Greater Youngstown at 330-746-2583.
Officers went to the duplex after receiving a call shortly before 2 p.m. Lacey was found lying in the bed with gunshot wounds to his buttocks, back and upper left shoulder. Not far from Lacey, they found Franklin lying on the floor covered with a blanket.
Police are not sure when the couple was killed, but did talk to neighbors who said they heard noises in the house followed by about four gunshots at 6 a.m. None of the people interviewed by police saw anyone leave the house after the early-morning gunfire.
“We are still out looking and talking to people,” Perdue said. “We are trying to talk to people to get an idea what the motive is.”
Lacey did have an arrest record for drug involvement, but police have stopped short of saying the murders were drug related. Perdue said items missing from the house could indicate a robbery gone wrong.
“We really don’t know until we get deeper into this. With the TV sets missing and DVD players missing, this could just be a robbery that went bad,” he added.
A search of Mahoning County court records shows that Lacey has a 2011 conviction for possession of heroin. According to court records, he initially was arrested in April 2011 and charged with trafficking in heroin and possession of cocaine. He was indicted in May 2011.
Lacey entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors where the charges were amended to one count of possession of heroin and one count of possession of cocaine.
He was placed in an intervention program in lieu of conviction. In intervention, the conviction is removed from a person’s record after successful completion of a rehabilitation program and two years’ probation.
Lacey and Franklin are the 11th and 12th homicide victims in 2012. The city recorded only four homicides by this time in 2011.