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Trial opens in Nov. killing of South Side businessman

Published: Wed, June 25, 2014 @ 12:04 a.m.



By Joe Gorman



A man accused of killing a South Side business owner had told the victim he was not to be disrespected, and that he would shoot him instead of fight him, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Martin Desmond, Mahoning County assistant prosecutor, told jurors in the trial of 24-year-old Lavelle Stanley that when Elliot Stewart told a group of people outside his business to leave, Stanley took offense because he thought Stewart also was referring to him.

“He said, ‘Who are you talking to?’” Desmond told the jury. “He said, ‘You ain’t going to disrespect me.’”

Stanley is charged with killing Stewart, 25, of Youngstown, and wounding Stewart’s brother, Derrick Stewart, 26 at the time, about 5:20 p.m. Nov. 15, 2013, at a Southern Boulevard car wash they operated.

Reports said the two were shot after Elliot Stewart tried to stop an argument between two women, and a man was upset that he got involved.

Elliot Stewart and the man, who police say is Stanley, seemed to have their differences ironed out before the brothers were shot.

Stanley faces charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm, all with firearm specifications.

A jury was seated before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum, and they viewed the crime scene before hearing opening statements.

Defense attorney Tom Zena said Elliot Stewart had a gun and Stanley fired at him because he was afraid for his life.

Derrick Stewart testified and said he was at the business with his brother, which was owned by their father before he died in April 2013. It was around closing time when the women began arguing and Elliot Stewart told them to leave.

Derrick Stewart said Stanley thought he was included in the warning and took umbrage. Derrick Stewart said he went to calm him down while his brother left. His brother came back a few moments later and had a gun in his right hand, but was left-handed. Derrick Stewart said that almost as soon as his brother opened his door, Stanley fired several shots, striking his brother at least three times and also hitting Derrick Stewart.

“He [Stanley] started letting loose. He started shooting,” Derrick Stewart testified.

Desmond said that at one point before he left and came back, Elliot Stewart asked Stanley if he wanted to fight, and Stanley said: “‘I’m not going to fight you; I’ll shoot you.’” Also, Stanley grabbed at his waist like he had a gun there, Desmond said.

Derrick Stewart said his brother never shot the gun or pointed it at Stanley before he was shot.

Desmond told the jurors in his opening statement that Stanley had plenty of time to leave before Elliot Stewart returned and that Stanley was firing his gun as he was driving away. He said Stanley cannot prove a case of self-defense.

Zena said in his opening statement that Stanley continued firing even as he drove away because he feared for his life. Zena said Stanley did think that Elliot Stewart was being disrespectful to him and he didn’t like it, and Zena added that Stanley was not on Elliot Stewart’s property when the argument between the women took place.

Both brothers are graduates of Ursuline High School and both were members of the Fighting Irish football team. Derrick Stewart played at the University of Cincinnati and was trying to make a team in the Arena Football League before he was shot.


1billdog1(5771 comments)posted 2 years ago

canfcard, my thoughts exactly.

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2kurtw(1758 comments)posted 2 years ago

What has it to do with the story? (the last paragraph). It's called "human interest". One man is dead- his brother wounded- and those were their plans for the future and now those plans are gone because of one senseless act of violence because someone thought he was being "disrespected".

Of course, the shooters life is shot, too, so you have ask yourself where this kind of social pathology comes from and how do we stop it. One way, I think, is reaffirming the sanctity of human life- no matter how you feel- you can't go around shooting people. Maybe it's time to forget Left Wing Cant and go back to Basics- The Ten Commandments, for instance- "Thou Shalt Not Kill" - Oops, I forgot! You're not allowed to teach that in School anymore- the ACLU and Madelyn Murray O'Hare saw to that. Well, well, pigeons coming home to roost... Should we be surprised our society is disintegrating?

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3kurtw(1758 comments)posted 2 years ago

Anybody who wants insight into why so many young Black men today feel they have a right to shoot somebody (whites especially) because they think their "pride" has been injured should read an essay written in the late 1950's by that darling of the Left Wing Intelligentsia Norman Mailer, entitled the "White Negro". In that essay, Mailer rationalizes the shooting of a white candy shop owner by two black hoods as, essentially, a killing that had "redeeming virtues"- it allowed the hoods to "express" themselves and make a "statement".

A man lay dead and two teenagers lives were ruined and Mailer justified their senseless act as "making a statement".

Here you see, in a nutshell, what 40 years of "situational ethics" and Left-wing Cant have brought us to. The young man in this case felt "disrespected" so he felt that entitled him to pick up a gun and blast away and so, now, one man is dead, another is wounded, and another young black man's life is ruined.

Norman Mailer may you turn in your grave- You Have A Lot to Answer For (along with the rest of the left-wingers who try to rationalize crime by calling it "necessary" or "justified".)

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