Bond set at $1M for Littlejohn in murder of grandson's father
Family members dispute police version of events
By Joe Gorman
The shock that the family of Louis Littlejohn showed Wednesday as he was arraigned in municipal court on an aggravated-murder charge was clearly palpable.
His wife’s eyes grew huge as Judge Elizabeth Kobly gave him a $1 million bond, and family members outside of court afterwards said the 61-year-old Littlejohn was only trying to protect his daughter Monday when police said he shot Charles Pargo, 27, during a custody dispute on Belden Avenue just as police were about to leave.
City Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Moliterno told Judge Kobly that Pargo was shot in the back six times as he was holding Littlejohn’s 3-week-old grandson and son of his daughter, Brittany Littlejohn. The baby was not injured.
Officers were called to the home for a custody dispute about 10:30 p.m., and police said the dispute appeared to be resolved when they were about to leave. That’s when they say Littlejohn ran into the home, and they heard several shots, then Littlejohn ran outside, threw a revolver on the ground and surrendered.
Police went inside and found Pargo dead on a flight of stairs, still holding his baby.
After the arraignment, Brittany and her sister, Briyanna Littlejohn, said their father is a decent man who was worried about his daughter and was once a corrections officer at the private prison on Youngstown’s East Side.
“He was trying to protect his daughter and grandchild,” Briyanna Littlejohn said.
They also disputed the police version of events. Brittany Littlejohn said she left with her children from a previous relationship after she and Pargo fought, but Pargo refused to give her their baby.
Louis Littlejohn and his wife then came over and called police on the way over. Brittany and Briyanna – neither of whom were there when police were present – said officers told their parents the situation was a matter for the courts and that officers also refused to have Pargo leave the home. The sisters said their father owns the home.
A records check with the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office shows that the owner of the home is Crim Real Estate Co. Ltd. They also said that Pargo has a restraining order and is not allowed around Brittany Littlejohn. No restraining order could be found while searching court records, but Pargo is listed as a witness in a domestic-violence case before Judge Kobly against Brittany Littlejohn. Court records show that she asked for a trial by jury but no has been set yet.
Police said Monday the dispute was civil by the time they arrived, and arrangements had been made for the baby to stay for the night with his father. Police Chief Robin Lees said Wednesday if anyone is upset with how police handled the situation, they could file a complaint with the department’s Internal Affairs Division. But the sisters disputed that.
“He was holding the baby hostage, and the police said there was nothing they could do,” Briyanna Littlejohn said. “They should have given the baby to [Louis Littlejohn’s] daughter.”
Louis Littlejohn has no criminal record, and the only case that could be found for Pargo was a misdemeanor assault conviction from 2016.
The sisters also said they did not know why their father had a gun with him Monday, and they said they did not even know he owned a gun. They said maybe he took it with him because he was scared of Pargo.
In November, Louis Littlejohn filed a menacing complaint against Pargo, saying that Pargo had threatened him with a gun.