YOUNGSTOWN — Judge Maureen Sweeney of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas has dismissed the case against the man accused of an East Side murder in 2009.
Sweeney made her decision to drop the charges against Paul Brown after a hearing this morning that lasted more than an hour and focused on a lost card in a cell phone.
Tony Meranto, attorney for Paul Brown, said Brown’s phone had a message on it that may have cleared him but the message could not be accessed because somehow the phone ended up with a different SIM card when it was in police custody than when it was originally purchased.
Because of that, the message could not be accessed.
Brown was accused of the murder of Ashten Jackson, 17, over Memorial Day weekend in 2009.
Sweeney called the department’s handling of the phone while it was in their custody “extremely troubling.” Police Chief Rod Foley said he did not want to comment because he has not read the judge’s ruling yet.