By Ed Runyan
Two weeks of jury selection will begin Monday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court in the murder trial of Louis R. Mann, 33, accused of killing his parents in their Jefferson Street Southwest home two years ago.
If Mann is convicted in the Sept. 30, 2011, murders of Phillip J. Mann, 59, and Frances M. Mann, 53, and the theft of their car, a jury will be asked whether Mann should be put to death.
It will be the first death-penalty-level case in Trumbull County since the 2006 murder trial of Jermaine McKinney, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a double murder in Newton Township.
A jury in that case refused to give McKinney the death penalty.
Mann, of Warren and Newton Falls, told police he strangled his mother with a clothesline during an argument, then “took out 31 years of rage” on his father by hitting him in the head with a flashlight and shooting him.
Later that day, Mann drove a woman to his parents’ Jefferson Street Southwest home and showed her the bodies.
Louis Mann had been living with his parents since his release from the Trumbull County jail several days earlier and was cooking a hamburger when he and his mother got into a dispute over Louis Mann’s child, he told police.
“Louis said he became enraged and grabbed a clothesline from on top of the refrigerator and strangled his mother to death,” according to an affidavit filed with the court.
“Louis then stated ... that his father came into the room with a .22 bolt-action rifle ... he got the gun away from his father. Louis then stated he picked up a Mag flashlight and ‘took out 31 years of rage on his father’s head.’ Louis then stated he shot his father,” the affidavit states.
Judge W. Wyatt McKay will preside over the case, which will be prosecuted by county Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and Assistant Prosecutors Chris Becker and Gabe Wildman.
Mann’s defense team consists of Gregory Meyers, Matthew Pentz and David Rouzzo of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office.
Another potential death-penalty case is pending in common pleas court.
David Martin, 28, of Cleveland faces the possibility of the death penalty in the Sept. 27, 2012, killing of Jeremy Cole, 21, and attempted killing of Melissa Putnam, 29, in Putnam’s Oak Street Southwest home.
A trial in that case is set for January before Judge Andrew Logan.