Judge denies motion to suppress photo lineup in homicide case

Judge denies motion to suppress photo lineup in homicide case

Judge denies motion to suppress photo lineup in homicide case


A Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge on Monday denied a motion to suppress a photo lineup for a man charged in an October homicide on the North Side.

Judge James C. Evans ruled that police acted properly when presenting a photo lineup to a witness in the case against Janero Mitchell, 27, of Crandall Avenue.

Mitchell is charged in the Oct. 21 murder of Mark Haskins, 57, who died of gunshot wounds at St. Elizabeth Health Center after he was shot in front of a house at Bissell and Kensington avenues.

Mitchell’s attorney, Thomas Zena, asked in February for the photo lineup to be tossed out of court, saying that it was suggestive and not given properly, and that the witness who picked Mitchell out did not say so until after the lineup.

Youngstown police Detective Sgts. David Sweeney and Darryl Martin testified at an evidence-suppression hearing in April about how they administered the lineup, saying that they used two arrays because at the time, they thought there may have been two different shooters.

Martin talked to a witness at the scene, and Sweeney administered the lineup because of departmental rules that state a detective on a case must refrain from administering the lineup, instead leaving the task to a detective who has no knowledge of the case or the suspects. The witness said two photos in the first lineup were familiar, one of those Mitchell’s, and none in the second lineup. When she was given a ride home by Deputy Sheriff John Naples, from whom she rents an apartment, she told him the photo of Mitchell was the correct photo and he notified police.

Judge Evans said in his ruling that the witness did not appear to be coached or hesitant when she made her decision, and the lineup was administered properly by police.

A trial date has not been set yet.

This is the second time Mitchell has been accused of killing someone. In 2006, he was sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless homicide in the June 2005 shooting death of Anthony McBride, 39.

McBride was found shot to death on a sidewalk in the 800 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard. Police said he was homeless.

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