Arrest made in Loveland Road homicide

Police: shooting over cough syrup and heroin

Police say a dispute over trading cough syrup for heroin led to the death of a 19-year-old Boardman man last week on Loveland Road.

Detectives arrested 20-year-old Michael Brown of Mount Vernon Avenue late Thursday afternoon for the murder of Daniel Watkins, who was shot late July 25 in a car parked in a driveway at 3721 Loveland Road.

Brown was arrested following an investigation by Detective Sgts. Rick Spotleson and Mike Lambert. They managed to interview two people Thursday afternoon and Brown confessed to killing Watkins, said Capt. Mark Milstead, chief of detectives.

The other person interviewed by the investigators had information that helped police with their investigation, Milstead said.

Brown was arraigned on a charge of murder before Municipal Judge Elizabeth Kobly who set his bond at $250,000. He has no known criminal record in Mahoning County. City Prosecutor Dana Lantz said Brown also told investigators he also lives in Texas and had just returned from there a few weeks ago.

Lantz told Judge Kobly that Brown gave a “full confession” and that he admitted to shooting Watkins four times.

Milstead said detectives were able to track Brown through phone records and other witnesses. They served a search warrant at his home before he was interviewed and found two weapons, one of them a long gun along with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol that investigators believe is the weapon used to kill Watkins, Milstead said.

Milstead said Watkins was at the home and trying to trade some cough syrup and cash for heroin when a dispute broke out and he was killed.

Watkins’ murder was the second in the normally quiet section of Brownlee Woods this year. On May 12, Robert Vanderpool, 37, was shot to death on a porch at 3337 Loveland Road and his mother was wounded.

That case is still unsolved.

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