Judge to rule on transcript after witness invokes 5th in Repchic murder case
By Joe Gorman
A Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge is expected to rule today on whether transcripts of testimony from a previous trial can be allowed into the record for the capital-murder trial of Aubrey Toney.
Judge Maureen Sweeney is expected to rule on whether testimony from the trial of 28-year-old Kevin Agee, who was convicted in 2012 for his role in the Sept. 25, 2010, shooting death of 74-year-old Thomas Repchic and the wounding of wife, Jacqueline, then 74, will be read into the record for jurors.
Toney, 33, could face the death penalty if convicted of Repchic’s murder. He also faces charges of attempted murder and felonious assault for the wounding of Jacqueline Repchic, who had her foot amputated as a result of her wound.
The reason the transcript needs to be read into the record is that Agee has refused to testify, invoking his Fifth Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution against self-incrimination. Because of his refusal, Judge Sweeney has declared him as unavailable to testify.
Prosecutors have asked instead that part of the transcript of his trial be submitted and defense attorneys John Juhasz and Paul Conn have objected.
Police say the Repchics were shot as they were riding in a car at Southern Boulevard and East Philadelphia Avenue in a case of mistaken identity. Police say Toney was feuding with a man who was known to drive a car similar to the Repchics, and he borrowed an SUV from his cousin to track it, with Agee driving.
In Agee’s trial, he testified he was in the SUV with Toney but did not know there would be a shooting. He appealed his conviction and sentence, and the case was remanded back to Judge Sweeney by the 7th District Court of Appeals for resentencing.
He has an appeal pending in the state supreme court.
The lead investigator on the case, city police Detective Sgt. Darryl Martin, was on the witness stand under direct examination when Judge Sweeney halted testimony for the day just before lunchtime. His testimony also is expected to resume today.