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Suspect in killing of 8-year-old Bryce Linebaugh sobs in court

Published: Sat, October 6, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

Judge rules on many motions in capital case

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Shawn Wilson is facing the death penalty, accused of shooting into an apartment building and killing an 8-year-old boy as he slept in his bed.

But the 21-year-old man did not have the appearance of a killer as he stood Friday before a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge.

Wilson, shackled and wearing handcuffs, began crying moments before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum took the bench and did not stop throughout the hearing. Deputies had to hand Wilson tissue as he struggled to compose himself.

He is charged in the murder of Bryce Linebaugh, killed in the early hours of Aug. 20 as he slept in a bunk bed at his Maplewood Court home in Rockford Village on the city’s East Side. A grand jury indicted Wilson on an aggravated-murder charge with death-penalty specifications.

Atty. Ronald Yarwood, representing Wilson, and assistant county prosecutors Rebecca Doherty and Dawn Cantalamessa were in court for rulings on pretrial motions from the defense and prosecution.

Yarwood filed 18 motions with the court in relation to various issues with the case against Wilson. Judge Krichbaum addressed each of those motions during the hearing, issuing rulings on most.

Several motions such as a request for juvenile records of some prosecution witnesses, information from police, a request for use of a private investigator, individual questioning of potential jurors, and to see and catalog physical evidence to be presented at trial were sustained, but there will be a future hearing to discuss at least one motion filed by the defense.

Yarwood asked to have a transcription of grand jury testimony and other matters concerning the grand jury prepared before trial. Krichbaum said he is not inclined to allow that without demonstration of a particular need, but he did order another hearing to address the matter within the next two weeks.

Tragedy has apparently been a part of Wilson’s life since he was young. He was barely 2 years old when his mother, 25-year-old Tonya Wilson, was gunned down on the city’s North Side in July 1992 by her husband, 25-year-old Robert Wilson.

According to witnesses, Tonya Wilson was sitting in a car on Stansbury Drive about 1 a.m. when Robert Wilson saw her and told her to go home. She told Robert Wilson she could not go home because two of her four children were at a baby sitter on Stansbury.

The witness said Robert Wilson walked over to the car in which Tonya was sitting and fired several shots into the car. One of the bullets hit the mother of four in the head, killing her. The couple was said to have had previous domestic issues.

Robert Wilson is in the Trumbull Correctional Institution where he has been since 1993 serving a 15-years-to-life sentence. Robert Wilson, as recently as 2011, filed a motion for a new trial, but the motion was overruled. His first parole hearing will be in March 2013.

The capital murder trial for the younger Wilson is slated to begin in mid- January.


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Not so much a gansta now are we? Man enough to want to fire a gat but a crying little baby when he gets caught. I hope he sobs when he is laying in a cot next to big bubba. I hope he sobs when they are strapping him to the electric chair. Scum. It's such a shame the family has to go through all this.

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2steelwagon(284 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Well cry us a river tough guy
This is the same thug who shot up the wrong home and killed an innocent little boy while he slept all because he says he was "dissed"

This cowards tears won't fool the judge or anyone else.
He's not crying because he has any guilt or remorse for his crime..
He's crying because life as he knew it is over for good and long before his date with the needle arrives he's going to have to live with some real tough guys who don't take kindly to baby killers.

You can believe those boys will give this child killer plenty of reason to cry !!!

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3kensgirl(1063 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Get the needle ready.

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4lumper(301 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

he was crying because now he's lost his chance to vote early and stay on the democratic gravy train.

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5wineywoman(78 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It's unfortunate that this young man has had such a tragic loss because of his own father's actions. That does not give him the right to behave in such a wreckless manner. The child who was sleeping in his bed is the true victim here. Blubbering in court won't restore the life of that child. The time to think about your actions is BEFORE you do something stupid, not after.

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6redneckwonder(13 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Like father like son. I would laugh if their buses pass each other on the road. Wouldn't that be such a deserved kick in the mouth.

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7SuburbKat(1 comment)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

My deepest sympathies to the family of Bryce Linebaugh. It is a terrible crime that has robbed you of your son.

I am also saddened by the terrible childhood that created Mr. Shawn Wilson. I hope that he can find remorse while in prison.

However, there is something dreadfully sad about an anonymous society that is so bloodthirsty as to post such vicious comments about a young man who has failed life so miserably. He will be punished. Frankly, I fear it's this same vengeful attitude that fuels cocky-urban-abused-pseudo-adults to shoot up apartments without considering the consequences.

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8hollywood(94 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

i completely agree with you suburbkat very well put!

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9jeepers(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

All I can see and hear is the tears and sobs of the little boy's family. You would think a person who lost a mother to gun violence would never ever want to be around a gun, let alone continue the gun violence that robbed him. Now another family is destroyed/damaged by this same idiotic display of anger with a gun. Time for this shooter to grow up-his sobs fall on deaf ears now.

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10southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Shawn Wilson is sobbing because he was caught and now will most likely die as well, dirtbag.

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