Youngstown man convicted in 1997 Ashtabula murder

Staff report


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said a Youngstown man, the sixth and final suspect linked earlier this year to the 1997 murder of an Ashtabula man, was convicted Wednesday.

A jury found John Drummond Jr., 36, guilty of aggravated murder, kidnapping and gun specifications after a trial prosecuted by attorneys with the attorney general’s Special Prosecutions Section.

“Even when a case is years old, it’s still possible to achieve justice,” DeWine said. “This is one reason why we continue to highlight unsolved homicides and encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

Drummond was one of six men indicted earlier this year in the February 1997 shooting death of Ronald Hull in Ashtabula.

Stephen Boles, George Church, Eric Weaver, Jawann Evans and Troy Jones all pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges for their roles in the crime. Each was sentenced to serve time in prison.

Drummond was identified by witnesses as the gunman and is facing a minimum of 28 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Friday.

Drummond already is serving a death sentence for the murder of a 3-month-old child during a drive-by shooting in Youngstown in 2003.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Drummond should receive a new trial in that case due to an error made by the Mahoning County trial judge. Prosecutors with the attorney general’s Capital Crimes Unit are reviewing the appellate court decision.

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