UPDATE | Man takes plea and agrees to testify against cousin in shooting deaths
WARREN — One of two men set to go on trial Monday in the June 2016 shooting deaths of two motorcycle club members has taken a plea agreement to reduced charges and a promise to testify against his first cousin at the trial.
Charles Dellapenna III, 48, of Warren, pleaded guilty today in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to two counts of complicity to involuntary manslaughter, two counts of complicity to felonious assault and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
VIDEO: Charles Dellapenna III in court
He entered his plea before Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court today. He will be sentenced after the trial.
Another man charged in the case, James Gardner, 48, of Warren pleaded guilty in June to complicity to involuntary manslaughter, two counts of complicity to felonious assault and single counts of obstructing justice and falsification and agreed to testify in the trial.
Gardner is also related to Dellapenna. His wife is Dellapenna's aunt. And the remaining defendant not to have taken a plea, David Bailes Jr., 46, is first cousin to Dellapenna and son of Gardner's wife.
Dellapenna, Gardner and Bailes were each charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts each of felonious assault in the June 18, 2016, shooting deaths of Jason Moore, 41, of Bristolville and Robert Marto, 54, of Cortland, and the wounding of Andrew Claypool, 50, of Girard and Walter Hughes, 41, of Warren.
The shootings occurred at Shorty’s Place tavern on Highland Avenue in a confrontation involving the Forever Two Wheels and Brothers Regime motorcycle clubs.
Dellapenna, Gardner and Bailes were members of Forever Two Wheels of Warren. The four other men were members of The Brothers Regime of Leavittsburg.
By pleading guilty to reduced charges, Dellapenna and Gardner no longer face the possibility of a life prison sentence. Bailes, who was severely injured in the shootings and came to court in a wheelchair until recently, still faces the possibility of a life prison sentence if convicted at trial.