Man arrested in West Avenue homicide case

By Joe gorman


A man sentenced to life in prison in 1979 for a robbery and murder he committed as a 16-year-old is expected to be arraigned today in the city’s latest homicide.

David Hackett, 51, of New York Avenue on the North Side, is charged with murder in the death of 30-year-old Collena Carpenter of Homeworth in Columbiana County. Her body was found early Monday near an access road to the Mahoning River near West Avenue.

Hackett was a suspect in the homicide and was interviewed by police twice this week before he was taken into custody Wednesday by the Adult Parole Authority on a parole violation, said Capt. Mark Milstead, head of the detective bureau. The warrant charging him with aggravated murder for Carpenter’s death was issued Thursday.

Milstead credited the work of investigators Lt. Doug Bobovnyik, Detective Sgt. Mike Lambert and Detective Sgt. Darryl Martin. “It came together real well for us,” Milstead said.

Bobovnyik did not want to release a motive for the slaying and said that the two were acquaintances, but Milstead said Carpenter was living with Hackett before she was killed. Carpenter had been stabbed several times and was found with a large pool of blood around her head. Investigators said they think she was there for some time but less than 24 hours. Bobovnyik did not want to say Thursday if they think she was killed there or killed elsewhere and dumped.

Earlier this week, investigators said Carpenter had a variety of addresses around the area, but she had been staying in the city recently before she was killed.

Court records show she was arrested in July after U.S. marshals found material for making methamphetamine at a home in North Jackson where she was listed as the owner, as they were serving a warrant for another man they took into custody. She was just in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court last week on the charges, court records show.

Milstead said detectives used video evidence to help find Hackett, and they also analyzed phone records. He said more evidence is being sent to the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation to be tested.

Bobovnyik said statements from witnesses also were used to help link Hackett to the crime.

Vindicator files show Hackett was bound over from juvenile court to common pleas court in January 1979 for a November 1978 robbery and murder committed when he was 16. He was convicted in May 1979 and sentenced to life in prison. There are no records available to show when he was released.

Files show Hackett and another man were charged with killing 42-year-old Joseph Beneski as he was walking down Foster Street near Fairmont Avenue about 10:30 a.m. Nov. 25, 1978. Beneski died from a shotgun blast to the back.

Common pleas court records show Hackett was indicted on four counts of rape and kidnapping in 2004, and he was found not guilty on all counts after a jury trial in 2006.

Carpenter’s death is the city’s 13th homicide in 2013. In 2012, Youngstown had 26 homicides.

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