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Suspected murderer handed high bond



Published: Tue, February 5, 2013 @ 12:04 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

jgoodwin@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The city man charged with shooting another man dead during a drug deal gone bad will be staying in the Mahoning County jail until he can raise the $1.25 million bond placed on him Monday.

Larry Blue, 32, Parmelee Avenue, appeared Monday before Magistrate Anthony Sertick of Youngstown Municipal Court for arraignment on charges of aggravated murder and felonious assault. He is charged with killing 52-year-old David Stokes of Columbiana County and wounding Matthew Sharp, also of Columbiana County.

The coroner determined Stokes had been shot multiple times but died of a gunshot wound to the back.

Khadijah Nicole Payden-Briggs, 19, of Maplewood Court, is charged as a co-defendant in the deadly drug deal. She is charged with complicity to aggravated robbery.

Magistrate Sertick handed down a $1 million bond for the murder charge and a $250,000 bond for the felonious assault charge against Blue. He handed down a $150,000 bond on Payden-Briggs.

Kathleen Thompson, an assistant city prosecutor, told the court during an arraignment hearing Monday that Payden-Briggs orchestrated a drug transaction between Blue and the two Columbiana County men. She said it was during that drug transaction that the two men were shot.

Police Chief Rod Foley said police still are investigating the matter and some details cannot be released, but it is still unclear exactly why Blue shot the men.

“These individuals went there to do a drug transaction. They have had past contact with the female in the situation. ... We are not sure why he shot the men. We are assuming it was a rip-off gone bad,” said Foley.

Blue is being represented by Attorney Thomas Zena, who told the court that there is another side to the story concerning the incident and his client. Zena, however, would not elaborate on what the other side to the story might be.

Payden-Briggs told the court that she cannot afford an attorney. The court will appoint someone to represent the woman.

Thompson said there is no criminal history for Payden-Briggs, but she did read an extensive criminal history for Blue.

Blue has been arrested in the past for drug possession, felonious assault, carrying concealed weapons and illegal possession of a weapon, and he has failed to appear in court five times.

Youngstown police reports show Blue was arrested on one of those occasions for punching a woman in the face, fracturing several of the bones in her face.

Blue also has had several run-ins with police over the loud sound system in his car.


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