Appeals court hears argument in 2010 murder case
The fact that two different juries, both hearing largely the same evidence in a murder case, reached opposite verdicts regarding two defendants in separate trials two weeks apart loomed large in today’s arguments before the 7th District Court of Appeals.
A three-judge panel heard the appeal of Dreon A. Williams, who was convicted in the Aug. 6, 2010, murder of Anthony Harrison and attempted murder of Eric VanCobb.
Just before Williams was convicted, his brother, Dionte Robinson, was acquitted of identical charges in the same shooting at 13th Street and Tremble Avenue in Campbell.
Harrison and VanCobb were confronted as they walked home from a church festival and shot as they ran from the gunfire, with police saying robbery was the likely motive.
“The evidence was overwhelming,” Ralph Rivera, an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, told the panel. “The jury missed it” in Robinson’s trial, he added.
If, as Rivera said, one jury lost its way, the other might also have lost its way, countered Williams’ lawyer, John Dixon.
However, Judge Cheryl Waite said the Williams trial contained an additional piece of evidence, namely a confession by Williams to a jail inmate, who testified in Williams’ trial.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Williams to 31 years to life in prison.