Murder suspect asks for charge to be dropped
By joe gorman
The lawyer for a man suspected in a 2009 homicide has asked for the charge to be dismissed.
In a motion filed last week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, Anthony Meranto, lawyer for Paul Brown, said the case against his client should be dismissed because the Youngstown Police Department destroyed or tampered with evidence that could prove his client innocent.
Brown’s trial is set for Monday before Judge Maureen Sweeney. Court records did not show if a hearing had been scheduled for Meranto’s motion.
Brown is accused of killing 17-year-old Ashten Jackson in 2009. A trial began in January 2012 but a mistrial was declared after some information Meranto needed from police was not turned over to him.
In his motion filed last week, Meranto said the case should be dismissed because a cellphone that Brown had when he was arrested that had a message that would help his case was tampered with by police after he was in custody.
Meranto asserts someone took the memory card out of the cellphone and replaced it with another card that does not work.
He also used as evidence to support his motion documents from a 2007 court case in Summit County where murder charges had to be dismissed because Youngstown police submitted the wrong shell casings to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which helped process evidence in the Summit County case.
Meranto also asked that an investigation into police conduct in Brown’s case be initiated by the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s office and the state attorney general’s office.
Prosecutors have yet to file a response to the motion.
Judge Sweeney already has denied one similar motion in the case.